What is Transnational Chinese Cinema Today? Or, Welcome to the Sinosphere

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About a decade ago, I wrote a piece called ‘What Is Transnational Cinema? Thinking from the Chinese Situation’ (Berry 2010). It argued that knowledge is situational and perspectival; what transnational cinema is depends on when and where you are looking from and writing about. It observed and analysed two current phenomena relevant to understanding what Chinese transnational cinema was then: the growth of cross-border Chinese film production involving the People’s Republic, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more, known as ‘Chinese-language cinemas’ (huayu dianying); and the larger phenomenon of globalisation. This article asks what has changed since then and proposes ‘cinemas of the Sinosphere’ as an idea to encompass those changes. However, the term refers to two very different phenomena. First, it responds to the higher profile of films that are part of a Chinese cultural sphere but not in a Sinitic language, rendering the idea of ‘Chinese-language cinemas’ inadequate. Second, it acknowledges the re-emergence of the nation-state and what some people call the ‘Second Cold War’ or what I call a ‘Two Globalizations’ phenomenon, and it refers to the cinema of the People’s Republic of China under the conditions of the Belt and Road Initiative and the non-Chinese cinemas that respond to it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransnational Screens
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Oct 2021


  • Sinosphere
  • Chinese-language cinemas
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • Second Cold War
  • Two Globalisations
  • transnational cinema


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