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Moving FiguresClass and Feeling in the Films of Jia Zhangke$
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Corey Kai Nelson Schultz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421614

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421614.001.0001

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The Entrepreneur: From Crook to “New Reform Model”

The Entrepreneur: From Crook to “New Reform Model”

(p.136) Chapter 5 The Entrepreneur: From Crook to “New Reform Model”
Moving Figures

Corey Kai Nelson Schultz

Edinburgh University Press

In chapter 5, the book concludes by analyzing the contradictory representations and structures of feeling associated with the entrepreneur figure. In many of Jia’s films, this figure is a threatening criminal who represents and evokes the anxiety surrounding market reforms in the early Reform era, and produces a structure of feeling that embodies the confusion, economic abuses, and fear of changing to a market economy. However, some of the films also present the figure of the rushang, who is a businessperson imbued with traditional Confucian characteristics, who is depicted as philosophical, friendly, and inspirational, and is tempered by traditional Confucian values, such as filial piety, patriotism, and anti-materialism, making it a figure to be lauded, not feared. These benign entrepreneurs have adapted to the new economy and are thriving because of it, but are also altruistic towards the common people and thus serve as inspirational models. This rushang is not the “New Socialist Human” that was the aspiration for the previous Maoist period, but is rather a “New Reform Human” for the Reform era – the resulting construction from the destruction of the Maoist state.

Keywords:   Entrepreneur, Rushang, Confucian characteristics, New Socialist Human, New Reform Human

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