Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(2,946 words)

In its journey around the world, film reached China at the end of the 19th century. The first documented screening of the "electrical shadows" (dianying), as movies are still called today, occurred in Shanghai in 1896. In its early period, it was above all the Beijing opera which made use of motion pictures in order to document its classical theater productions. Chinese cinema really began in 1916 when Zhang Shichuan's Wronged Soulsin an Opium Den (H…

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Gieselmann, Martin, “Film”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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