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Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710


As China becomes a major player in the global economy, Europeans also have begun to encounter Chinese transnationals as a new, relatively unknown urban population and to incorporate them into expressive discourses such as cinema and mass media. Representation of/response to this new social reality, in turn, has raised questions in contemporary European cinema as we see in three recent films - Gomorra(h) (Matteo Garrone, 2008, Italy), Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2010, Spain, Mexico), and Mauvais Joueurs/Gamblers (Frédéric Balekdjian, 2006, France) that situate these Chinese within changing European discourses. These films do not focus on Chinese per se, but the Chinese in these movies constitute critical elements of a multi-ethnic transnational Europe; such off-centred presentations of Chinese thus articulate emergent European ideas about both China and Chinese within local, national, continental (European) and global frames. These Chinese do not occupy major roles; in the end, they haunt these films rather than drive them. Their spectral quality includes death, mystery, disappearance, and the ethical transformation of the protagonist although they themselves evaporate from the narrative.


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