Communism and Mise-en-Scene Technique in the Film Yellow Earth Essay

Communism and Mise-en-Scene Technique in the Film Yellow Earth Essay

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Communism and Mise-en-Scene Technique in the Film Yellow Earth

As one of the earliest films to come out of communist China’s new film schools in the 1980s, director Chen Kaige’s Yellow Earth reveals much about the Chinese communist party’s interpretation of the years before 1949 (the year of the Communist victory in China). Yellow Earth takes on the appearance of Communist propaganda films as the plot and themes develop. The minimalist mise-en-scene technique effectively illustrates the activities and rituals of daily rural Chinese life throughout the film. Nowhere in the film is the effectiveness of this technique more apparent than in the final scene when Han-Han struggles against the crowd to return to Gu.

Many of the scenes in Yellow Earth feature long takes that fully illustrate the true passage of time. For instance, characters are often shown walking across the hills and fields from one location to another. Rather than cut these scenes and imply the length of the journey, Kaige leaves the scenes intact, allowing the viewer to fully grasp the vast expanse of space and t...

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