Against All Odds: Bringing Multi-faceted China-Africa Stories to the Screen

Publication date:

December 31, 2019


Xiaoning Lu


Lu interviewed the filmmaker Yong Zhang, who's made a number of documentaries on the subject of Sino-African relations. Zhang explained that movies play a great role in shaping and reinforcing Chinese peoples’ perception of Africa especially Hollywood blockbuster movies. He added that when Chinese filmmakers attempt to imitate those blockbusters, they also inherit the unjust stereotyping of Africans. Africa-focused Chinese films unfortunately are not sufficiently informed about the social development in African countries and thus end up misrepresenting the continent and its people. Zhang emphasizes that the current state of Chinese made Africa-themed movies are an indication of the necessity to have not only economic-cooperation between Africa and China, but also arts and humanities exchanges to facilitate better understanding of each other’s cultures. By telling the individual stories of “Africans in China” ad “Chinese in Africa”, Zhang hopes to dismantle the Western monopoly of public-opinion on Sino-African issues.


Culture | Media | Social Context

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