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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 10, 2022

Chinese Dreams of Nostalgia and Fantasy: Cultural Critique in Feng Xiaogang’s Personal Tailor (2013)

James Keogh ORCID logo and Brian Yecies ORCID logo


This study sheds new light on Feng Xiaogang, one of China’s most successful film directors, through an investigation of how Personal Tailor (2013) engages with the guiding rhetoric and ideals underpinning the “Chinese Dream”. The authors demonstrate how the hybrid political–commercial–artistic critique of the Chinese Dream in Personal Tailor offers poignant commentary on China’s quest for national rejuvenation during a period when China continues to struggle with increasing social and economic inequalities. By foregrounding these complex tensions between political and economic rationalism, and their intersections with an imagined nostalgia as a key story-telling trope, this study shows how Feng and Personal Tailor are expanding the boundaries of contemporary Chinese cinema in a new era of globalized commercial culture.

Corresponding author: James Keogh, Communication and Media, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia, E-mail:


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Published Online: 2022-06-10
Published in Print: 2022-05-25

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