China was more ideological, and poor but apparently also more naive and genuine.
In the 80s China was experiencing a period of transition: the tragedies of the Cultural Revolution, the Gang of Four who plagued the country, the death of Mao, the economic and social reforms of Deng Xiaoping.
At the same time, in this decade, Beijing began slowly to open the country.
The directors of the fifth generation like Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige emerged, but at that time they depicted the recent past rather than the present, which instead will be told later by the Sixth generation directors like Jia Zhangke in Zhantai (Platform).
Illegal pop music cassettes from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan started to pop up around the country, influencing the young generations.