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Public Secrets

May 5, 2012

An interesting concept worth returning to…

“According to Stephanie Donald, Chinese cinematic narratives have embedded in their texture public and political images (that is, public secrets) and created an alternative public space where society reflects and comments upon itself. In the context of Chinese undemocratic society, Donald’s analysis of the cinematic public sphere focuses on secret markers (such as structural elements including casting, tropes of performance, intertextual  referencing, motifs and cueing), which ‘by virtue of their specificity must be a secret to anyone who is not a participant in their maintenance and formation’ (2000, pp.15-16). While New Zealand media are arguably freer than Chinese ones, on New Zealand’s screens, minorities’ issues can similarly be regarded as ‘public secrets’ that might not necessarily be taboo but remain hidden in the dominant discourse on the nation to ‘anyone who is not a participant in their maintenance and formation (Donald, 2000, p.16).” (75, Paola Voci) 

Ref: Paola Voci (2011) ”Isn’t it great? They all speak English!’: Screen representations of Asia and Asians in New Zealand’ pp.74-97 in (eds) Paola Voci and Jacqueline Leckie Localizing Asia in Aoteroa. dunmore Publishing: Wellington.

She analyses: Banana in a Nutshell, 2006, Roseanne Liang; Waves, 2006, Li Tao; and Here to Stay: the Chinese, 2007, John Hagen, Gibson Group.

She refers to: Stephanie Donald (2000) Public Secret, public spaces: Cinema and civility in China. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield

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