Two of our friends in the academic community, Professors Sheldon Lu of UC Davis and Jia-yan Mi of The College of New Jersey, have edited a new publication that couldn’t be more relevant to the concerns of our time. Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge (2009, Hong Kong University Press) is touted as the first book-length study of China’s eco-system through the lens of Chinese cinema. From the book’s description:
Proposing “ecocinema” as a new critical framework, the fourteen essays in the volume collectively investigate a wide range of urgent topics in today’s world: Chinese and Western epistemes of nature and humanity; the dialect of socialist modernization amid capitalist globalization; shifting configurations of space, locale, cityscape, and natural landscape; gender, religion, and ethnic cultures; as well as bioethics and environmental politics. The individual chapters zero in on diverse Chinese-language films by talented directors such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Jia Zhangke, Lou Ye, Fruit Chan, Wu Tianming, Tsai Mingliang, Li Yang, Feng Xiaogang, Zhang Yang, Wang Xiaoshuai, Wang Bing, Ning Hao, Zhang Ming, Dai Sijie, Wanma Caidan, and Huo Jianqi. The book is a timely engagement with Chinese cinema’s ecological consciousness in a historic moment of unparalleled environmental crises and destruction.
The contents of the book can be found on the website of Hong Kong University Press.