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“Tieshan gongzhu” and the chinese animation at Cinema Ritrovato 2018

Tieshan gongzhu is known to be the first Chinese animated feature film and is treasured as such by the CDCC in Paris. It was realized in Shangai during WWII, during the Japanese occupation. The conflict had been going on for decades and also had led to the Rape of Nanjing in 1936. Wan Guchan and Wan Laiming, the directors, wanted to make the movie to be a contribution to the resistance. “Seeing an apolitical story used for a political issue is an artistic approach that has been used and is used in China to this day” says Tony Rayns during the presentation. The rotogravure technique is largely used and gives to the female characters a naturalistic elegance. When we first see Princess Iron Fan, she’s waking up and it’s there, in the way she stretches, that we can see the recall of Disney’s Snow White the most. After all, it was also because of its success that the Wan brothers were inspired to produce a story which featured a princess.