Escaping the room. A postsocialist reading of Wang Bing’s Father and Sons | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 2051-7041
  • E-ISSN: 2051-705X



Wang Bing explores the contradictions and complexities of China’s post-socialist society today and their consequences for the individual. In Father and Sons 王兵 – 父 与子 (2014) he focuses on a father with his two sons in their migrant condition. The promises of socialist utopia with Mao Zedong as the father of the nation, somehow replacing all fathers in China, no longer exist. In today’s reality traditional family structures have disintegrated, the position of the father is hollowed out, and there is no future for the family in post-socialist China. This article explores Wang Bing’s aesthetic language and choices, his tactics and techniques. His masterly manipulation of time and space, of light and dark, his composition of images with frame-into-frame technique, his use of sound and music, his references to pre-Communist and Maoist times, and his apparent non-interference as a film-maker prove extremely effective in pulling the viewer into the lives of the protagonists, turning viewing the film into an almost live experience.


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