Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Lewison, Sarah


This paper is a theoretical and aesthetic exploration of my MFA thesis film- an autobiographical documentary. This documentary was entirely shot in China, with both high-definition footage and Super 8 film; it takes a journey in my hometown to discuss the contemporary housing problem across generations in modern China. By focusing on ordinary family life, the film attempts to reveal the tension and conflicts arising between Chinese people's need for roots and the shifting socioeconomic system. The first part of the paper addresses the highly contrasted filmic textures that establish various temporal dimensions in the film. Taking an autobiographical approach, the first person perspective is employed to connect these times and spaces. The second part of the paper will examine the subjectivity in the film and discuss how the self functions as a storyteller, an outsider and a family member at the same time. The following chapter will visit the physical familiar space. The lens searches for marks and signs left by everyday practices, in order to trace the change of the concept of home in Chinese culture after the invasion of industrialization and consumerism. Such an enormous socioeconomic transformation has eventually given birth to a wave of nostalgia in contemporary China. This nostalgia answers a cultural need that counters the irresistible process of modernization, urbanization and commercialization in the transitional China.




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