With cinema takings in the United States at a 22-year low, Hollywood moguls are looking to an unlikely saviour: China. With box office revenues growing at 9 percent, Hollywood is scrambling to find the formula for movies that make the cut of China’s 34 approved films and appeal to Chinese audiences. For every surprise hit, like The Meg and Warcraft, there are flops like The Great Wall. Like many an autocrat before him, Xi Jinping is enamoured of the silver screen, elevating film above radio and television in his 2018 overhaul of the propaganda apparatus. To discuss the special place of film in China’s global soft power push, back in March Louisa and Graeme were joined by City University of New York’s Ying Zhu and Variety Magazine’s Beijing bureau chief Rebecca Davis.
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