The five broad generations of
Films such as Wu Yonggang’s The Goddess (1934) focus on common people and class struggle.
Second Golden Age
After the Japanese occupation brings Chinese cinema to a halt, filmmaking begins again in earnest in Shanghai in 1947.
Early Communist Era
The PRC’s founding sees cinema used mainly as a propaganda tool.
Film production in China virtually comes to a halt from 1967-72.
The Fifth Generation
The term is used to describe the generation of filmmakers who were first to graduate from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982 following the Cultural Revolution. With more freedom than those who preceded them, directors include Zhang Yimou and Jia Zhangke (pictured).