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Chinese cinema final essay

Chinese cinema final essay - Mai 1 Chenhao Michael Mai May...

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Chenhao Michael Mai May 3, 2011 Chinese Cinema Final Essay Professor Song The Traditional Family When one thinks of China, one may ponder of its many great monuments or it’s representation of classic Eastern values. Being such a large and populace place, China has set the bar a long time ago for the people in the region: Traditions have been set, religions created and standards maintained. One of the greatest traditions of all that seems to be constant among all Eastern societies is Family. Now a look at any country’s’ development of cinema can give clear insight to their culture and lifestyle, in this respect China is no different. But I believe there is a common misconception to the perceived traditions in the east and contrast with what actually lies there. Chinese cinema gives great regard to the idea and power of family, which may not always be in the traditional sense, and can be found among many of the most famous films. Let’s introduce a traditional family that portrays all the qualities an ideal family would possess. In the film To Live , Zhang Yimou creates a powerful story spanning the time of the Great Leap Forward into the Cultural Revolution and twists a young couple through riches to poverty. The main character is Xu Fugui who is a compulsive gambler and son of a local rich man. This opening gives sight to an immediately dysfunctional family as Xu’s wife is plagued by his gambling and they ultimately end up homeless because of it. This stands in stark contrast to the long upheld belief of Chinese loyalty and “for the family” attitude. 1
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We fast forward a decade and find that Xu has gone through experiences and come to his senses. He seeks out his lover and they raise a family in a town dedicated to producing steel during this Cultural Revolution. This chapter of the movie marks many of the symbols and motifs used to represent the family being drawn back together. The first example of family loyalty is when Xu’s son attacks another family’s son for bullying his sister. This is clearly shows those deeply rooted values and standing up for your own. Next we see the death of Xu’s son and the man responsible attempting to make amends.
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