Rereading Dam Street in the Chinese Cultural Context

Zhaohui Liu, Yushan Zhao, Hui Liu


As an emerging film director, Yu Li has yet to be recognized by the international academic critics. By examining Hongyan/Dam Street in the Chinese cultural context with the assistance of analyzing scenes in detail and the film’s visual style, this article argues that the film illustrates the protagonist Xiaoyun is stuck between traditions and modernity, providing a sophisticated insight to an important feminist issue. The reading of the traditions involves chastity code, the image of a rouge face which is the translation of the film’s Chinese title, the Chinese four-character idioms, the time-honoured terms, the development of feminism, and the characteristics of the modernity in China. The perversity of the modernity originates from the social commercialization. Prejudices from the traditions and the modernity leave little space for women to settle in.

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Asian Culture and History   ISSN 1916-9655(Print)   ISSN 1916-9663 (Online)

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