• Representation, New Documentary Movement: "A Bite of China: Season I"

      Ren, Hai; Cheng, Zhuofei; Lanza, Fabio; Smith, Nathaniel (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      This thesis attempts to explore within what historical context and with what documented content, A Bite of China: Season I, a Chinese documentary television series that explores the history of food, eating and cooking garners widespread popularity. By theoretical analyses, Chapter 1 concludes the relationship between documentary and the "reality" is built upon representation and there is "something beyond reality" in documentary. Moreover, in documentary representation, affect helps the "reality" to transform into "documentary reality," and affect is the key to understand "something beyond reality." In order to analyze documentary in historical context, Chapter 2 reviews and analyzes western documentary film history, Chinese television documentary history and The New Documentary Movement in China. As conclusion shows, this movement changes Chinese documentary history and provides historical context for A Bite of China. In particular, it makes common Chinese people's lives and general Chinese society become main documented content, which constitutes a non-governmental power discourse. Chapter 3 turn the case study of A Bite of China. As it concludes, historical context is the integration between governmental discourse and non-governmental discourse. As for documented content, the intertwined representation between the representation of Chinese gourmet food and affective resonance among director, documented people and spectators makes A Bite of China popular. This thesis advances "affect" as an approach to further understand "documentary reality" and provides a new viewpoint on how A Bite of China becomes a popular Chinese television documentary.