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Song of the Bicycle

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In this short documentary film, director Yang Shu surveys the range of bicycles and their uses in China. Most of the film is shots of bicycles of every description in motion- getting people to their jobs, moving a load of hundreds of brooms, wheeling through farm fields. Without actually seeing the millions of bicycles in China firsthand, it is hard for someone to envision just how dominant they are. Yet Song of the Bicycle gives one a sense of their pervasiveness and importance, both through shots of bikes in traffic and at rest, as well as through an accumulation of facts, such as the annual production of bicycles in China-42 million. Their political significance also emerges in the shot of the presentation of a bicycle to George Bush by the Chinese government.
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Keywords: Bicycle; China; Chinese life; documentary; interviews; political significance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Tennessee

Publication date: 31 July 2012

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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