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How does the Film Factory Boss Expose the Weaknesses of the China Model?

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DOI: 10.23977/artpl.2023.041102 | Downloads: 10 | Views: 384


Li Yang 1, Zhang Ruoqi 2


1 Department of Oriental Cultures and Languages, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
2 Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Corresponding Author

Li Yang


This essay explores the portrayal of the flaws within the Chinese economic development model, commonly referred to as the China Model [Zhongguo moshi], in the documentary film "Factory Boss [Dagong laoban]." The film highlights the low labour costs, lack of worker welfare, and inadequate health provisions within this economic framework. Through a detailed analysis of the film's cinematography and semiotic elements, the essay reveals how the narrative and characters highlight these issues. By focusing on the character of Lin Dalin, the factory owner, the essay illustrates the challenges Chinese manufacturing enterprises face in the competitive global market, where low labour costs are necessary. The mise-en-scène techniques employed in the film effectively depict the changes in China's manufacturing industry and emphasise the subpar welfare conditions for migrant workers. Ultimately, the essay demonstrates how "Factory Boss" is a microcosm of the China Model, unravelling its inherent weaknesses. This film highlights China's economic boom and raises questions about the sustainability of this development model.


China Model, Factory Boss, labour costs, worker welfare, Chinese manufacturing, documentary film


Li Yang, Zhang Ruoqi, How does the Film Factory Boss Expose the Weaknesses of the China Model?. Art and Performance Letters (2023) Vol. 4: 7-14. DOI:


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