Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Project info

China, poised to become the world's largest film market, is home to an expansive state-supported movie and television industry. On an unparalleled scale, entire towns have been built around making movies. China's Hengdian World Studios, reportedly the largest film base in the world, consists of several distinct film villages across 2,500 acres, including a full-size replica of the Forbidden City. Given film censorship codes in China, period films provide a safe and familiar format to tell stories based around "official" narratives. The movie sets, rivaling real world cities and monuments in their scale, have themselves become destinations for domestic and international tourists. Despite the fiction, Mark Parascandola's photographs document a dynamic and changing China.