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Shorlisted for the BAFTSS 2020 Award for Best Monograph
Despite his films being subjected to censorship and denigration in his native China, Jia Zhangke has become the country's leading independent film director internationally. Seen as one of world cinema's foremost auteurs, he has played a crucial role in documenting and reflecting upon China's era of intense transformations
since the 1990s.
Cecília Mello provides in-depth analysis of Jia's unique body of work, from his early films Xiao Wu and Platform, to experimental quasi-documentary 24 City and the audacious Mountains May Depart. Mello suggests that Jia's particular expression of the realist mode is shaped by the aesthetics of other Chinese artistic traditions, allowing Jia to unearth memories both personal and collective, still lingering within the ever-changing landscapes of contemporary China. Mello's groundbreaking study opens
a door into Chinese cinema and culture, addressing the nature of the so-called 'impure' cinematographic art and the complex representation of China through the ages.
Foreword by Walter Salles