Course Code


Course Name

China on Screen


Thursday 9:30 AM - 1:15 PM




Dr. Abraham Overbeeke

Teaching Assistant

Miao Zixin

Course Description

Many 20th century Chinese films were concerned with issues of nationhood, identity, trauma, and a national past. In recent years, however, while some directors have continued to focus on the nation’s past, others have chosen to look at the present and the effects of globalization on Chinese society and culture. This course asks that students begin to understand Chinese cinema(s) as transnational, a triangular composite of Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong cinema that has also been influenced by Hollywood, Japanese and Korean cinema, amongst others. Students will be introduced to Chinese film history and criticism via an examination of eleven films directed by some of Greater China’s most skilled directors.

Course Outline

Week 1: 11 January      Introduction

Week 2: 18 January      The Goddess (1934)

Week 3: 25 January     Spring in a Small Town (1948)

Week 4: 1 February      Two Stage Sisters (1964)


***Monday 5 February Assignment 1 Due (REQUIRED!)***


Week 5: 8 February     A Better Tomorrow (1986)

Week 6: 22 February     Dust in the Wind (1986)


***Monday 26 February Assignment 2 Due***


Week 7: 29 February      Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

Week 8: 14 March     Chungking Express (1994)


***Monday 18 March Assignment 3 Due***


Week 9: 21 March      Devils on the Doorstep (2000)

Week 10: 28 March      Still Life (2006)


***Wednesday 3 April Short Assignment 4 Due***


Week 11: 11 April     Drug War (2012)

Week 12: 18 April      Yi Yi (2000)


***Friday 3 May Final Assignment Due***

Assessment & Assignments

Participation 10%

Short assignments 50%

Final Take-Home Assignment 40%

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.