This dissertation seeks to determine whether the cycle of films produced after the fall of the 'Gang of Four' in the People's Republic of China in 1976, and representing events during the Cultural Revolution decade of 1966-1976, constitutes a major break with the classical mainland Chinese cinema that had been dominant in that country after 1949. It is widely acknowledged in scholarship about China that Chinese society and culture now is qualitatively different from the heyday of socialism, both in terms of a decline in central control and loss of faith in the socialist vision. This dissertation understands this new culture as postsocialist, and therefore asks if these films constitute the earliest sustained manifestations of postsocialist cinema.

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