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Cultural Outreach: Cinema and Soft Power

Authors
  • Rawnsley, Gary D.1
  • 1 University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), China , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Chinese Film Studies
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Mar 12, 2021
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
187–203
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/jcfs-2021-0012
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This paper introduces soft power as a political construct and thus questions its relevance to cinema. Rather than seeing movies as representatives of soft power in and of themselves, cinema is an instrument whereby soft power is projected – a tool rather than a resource. The paper argues that cinema is an example of “soft power by accident”, meaning that it is best understood as a natural by-product of a cultural creative process for non-political purposes. However, when we analyse Chinese cinema, the boundaries between political and non-political break down, revealing some of the problems and limitations in both Chinese soft power and cultural outreach.

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