China is a large agricultural country, and the poor are mainly located in non-urban areas. 1978 to 2020, China lifts 750 million people out of poverty. Chinese films have made remarkable contributions to poverty alleviation. China has four national film production institutions that specialize in producing science and educational films. In addition, provincial film studios, television stations, and private companies also make science and educational films. These films are distributed in large numbers to the vast poor areas engaged in agriculture, fisheries, livestock farming, etc. While bringing scientific knowledge to poor areas, science and educational films have also recorded the history of human struggle to get rid of poverty and create a better life.

The varieties of science and educational films for poverty alleviation are diverse. For example, they introduce science and technology used for planting and breeding, handicraft techniques, and advanced domestic and foreign experiences in getting rich; there are also films about ecological protection and disaster prevention; and those about infrastructure construction, social education, breaking superstition, promoting conservation, and helping each other. Many of these films are not only knowledgeable, but also interesting and artistic. Most science and educational films were shown through tens of thousands of mobile film teams.

The China Film Archive has a collection of 559 science and educational films on poverty alleviation made by Chinese agricultural production organizations since 1978. As far as we know, the science and educational film studios in Beijing and Shanghai have made 1,847 titles on poverty alleviation, and other production organizations have made several hundred. These films sometimes meet with audiences at the film exhibitions of relative theme, and are also readily available to serve institutions and individuals who come to consult the materials.

Li Zhen Professor/Deputy Director of Film History Research Department
China Film Art Research Center

Mr. Li Zhen Professor/Deputy Director of Film History Research Department, China Film Art Research Center. His research interests lie in Chinese film history animation films and oral history.