Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach


An, Ning, Chen Liu, and Hong Zhu. 2016. “Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 786–800. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1058762.


Authors: Ning An, Chen Liu, Hong Zhu


This article attempts to deconstruct the masculinised contract among the war narrative, popular culture, and Chinese nationalism by exploring the roles of women in Nanjing Massacre films with war narratives and Chinese audiences' emotional ‘readings’ of these women. Based on the analysis of City of Life and Death (2009) and The Flowers of War (2011) and audiences' comments on these two films from Douban Movie, this article has mapped a popular geopolitics of these two films through a feminist approach. The main argument of this research points out that, through the production and consumption of these two films, the women of the Nanjing Massacre can be territorialised as Nanjing/China and used to represent China's attitudes towards both the historical and current Sino–Japanese relationship. In this way, the women of these films can be considered an articulation of popular culture and politics, and they are empowered to establish Chinese nationalism and construct anti-Japanese identities in Chinese society. To a wider extent, this article can be read as a contribution to the literature on gender, nationalism and popular geopolitics.

Keywords: popular geopolitics, feminist approach, nationalism, Sino – Japanese relationship, Nanjing massacre, China

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China, Japan

Year: 2016

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