Mentre in Francia il movimento del Sessantotto aveva dato il via alla scoperta di nuove culture, la rivoluzione culturale in Cina stava contemporaneamente chiudendo le vie di comunicazione con l’estero. In quel periodo Marie-Claire Kuo, curatrice della sezione ‘La rinascita del cinema cinese (1941-1951)’, era ricercatrice presso il dipartimento di cinese dell’Université Paris-VII. La sua missione di approfondimento e condivisione della cultura cinese attraverso il cinema la condusse a fondare nel 1979 il Centre de documentation et de recherche sur le cinéma chinois (CDCC). I film cinesi in rassegna al Cinema Ritrovato provengono principalmente da questa collezione.
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.