Show real in China? The evolving portrayal of women in Chinese cinema

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Laurence Lim Dally’s Hong Kong based branding agency Cherry Blossoms helps western brands bridge the cultural gap with Asian consumers. A long-time observer of female representation on screen in China, she finds that film-makers are now offering a more women-centric view with an increasingly down-to-earth narrative. But she wonders whether the more ‘Hollywood’ commercial and the more ‘realistic’ independent sectors can ever be reconciled, as she told K magazine.

In China, how useful is the media in helping to understand the real lives of women?

In general, it’s even more important than real life. If you look at role models for Chinese women, the representations seen on screen or through the lens of social media are more influential than real people. The women who embody success are not female entrepreneurs – even though China has one of the highest proportion of them in the world.

They are rather celebrities, not only because they are beautiful, but because they are also perceived as successful – both professionally and in their personal lives. The movie