Thursday, April 16, 2009

No Sex or Kung-fu for Confucius

Apr 16, 2009
Edited and translated by staff
Source: Huanqiu Shibao 环球时报

The film of Confucius and his life, since the ideas was first announced to today has been controversial. At first, everyone worried about who would be picked to play the great sage. And now, as the actor has already been decided on, everyone is focusing on the content of the film.

The film has seen over 40 organizations such as the International Association of Confucianism write a public letter to the producers of the film “Confucius” raising queries over media reports that the film will contain love scenes and even a love triangle. The organizations are firmly against any debasement of the name of Confucius.

On the 11th April, the producers of the film wrote this reply: “The film “Confucius” is a serious dramatization of the historical figure”. They went onto stress the following points: 1. The film will not contain any romantic interest between Confucius or Nanzi. 2. Confucius will not be seen doing Kung-fu.

According to reports the film will be split into 8 parts of Confucius’ life. These are to include such legendary scenes as Confucius meeting Laozi (the sage of Daoism and a character with whom Confucius often debates with in the Analects). The cast is already known, with Zhou Run (Chow Yun Fat) playing Confucius and Zhou Xun playing the female lead, Nanzi

The film is tipped to come out at the end of 2009, and most people in the Chinese film industry are hoping that it will stand a chance at the 2010 Oscars as best Foreign language film.

Upon further inspection of the information published by the producers, it is clear that we don’t really know how the film will turn out, and they have left themselves with quite a few potential tricks up their sleeves. Said director Hu Gui: “Film is art and not academia. A historical film is not the same as history written in a book. In the making of the film we had to employ artistic license.”

It seems that maybe the producers have got it wrong. This is not a Kung-fu or Romance movie, but on the other hand this is not a drama.

Confucius has long since been one of the most important symbols of China’s national and ethnic culture, and so he needs to be handled with extreme care. Every nation has something that is beyond the pale to play around and joke with. Just as Americans laugh and mock their President all the time, yet the second you mock the Declaration of Independence you’ve crossed that line.

For China it is Confucius. Even though our way of dressing and eating has changed since his time, the philosophy of the sage and his follower’s lives on and has become revered in Chinese society.

Indeed, the whole world knows that Confucius is the teacher of all Chinese people, not to mention Koreans and Japanese. No wonder everyone is nervous to see just what Confucius will look like on the big screen at the end of this year.


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