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Three Pillars of Chinese Culture: Architecture, Film, and Ideology

Chinese Silent Films

Evening Course

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0302B
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Chinese silent film poster "Romance of the Western Chamber", 1927

Chinese culture has a rich history going back thousands of years. This lecture series examines one of the enduring and most resilient hallmarks of Chinese culture—its architecture—before seeing how the modern era was represented in silent films of the early 20th century. Moving into the second half of the 20th century, the series delves into the sweeping cultural changes enacted under the new political ideology of communism.

Justin M. Jacobs, a professor of Chinese history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures.

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Chinese Silent Films

Chinese cinema is nearly as old as Hollywood itself. During this session, view two short silent movies from China’s first golden age of film in the 1920s and ‘30s: Romance of the Fruit Peddler (1922) and Song of China (1935). Jacobs provides historical and cultural context for scenes and explains how these films reflect the turbulent milieu of early 20th-century China.

Additional Sessions of Three Pillars of Chinese Culture Series

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