Daughter of China Favorite 



Nov 1 1949



Chen Boer's first heroine film, which she co-wrote and directed, was "Daughter of China," about female soldiers in the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. They didn't have much filmed material at the time, but as a feminist, Chen Boer clearly wanted to record the sacrifices and contributions of Chinese women in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

Chen Boer made a series of films with heroine as the main character and established a film paradigm of heroine in socialist China: "When I came to the United States in 1985, I found that Hollywood movies have always been a model of heroism and sexualization of women. Hollywood didn't get its first heroine movie until 2000 years later, and we already had a lot of heroine movies during the socialist era."

When "Daughter of China" was shown, the audience was very moved, as can be seen from the large number of reviews and the audience's post-viewing notes. At that time, many female revolutionaries had just come back from the war of resistance against Japan and the war of liberation. After watching the film, they felt very gratified, because the contributions and sacrifices of women who participated in the revolution were recorded in the film. The film was completed in 1948 as a tribute film to the Asian Women's Conference, the first international women's conference undertaken by the All-China Women's Federation in 1949, which was commissioned by the International Democratic Women's Federation to be held by the Chinese Women's Federation. The film received good reviews at the conference and won awards at international film festivals.

Posted by Yuchen Zhang on

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change


Before the Open and Reform, this project seems to help women to gain their voice in every aspect of their life. However, in contemporary China, there seems to be a retrogradation in film production. For instance, after the intense "war" with Covid-19, there is a TV series that depicts individuals that fight against the virus. Female workers were depicted as the ones who are not willing or brave enough to sign up against the virus, while in fact more than a half of the volunteers are women during the pandemic. They do all the hard work and dirty work, but the results of the work should be posted on the face of male leaders. Chen's work is giving us a great example that we should be aware of how women are depicted in cultural production. Women should fight for women's rights and also beware of the politics of obscurity.