OldBoring wrote:I don't think a pro-communist textbook is necessarily a bad thing.
No, although it gets tiresome when you keep seeing all this propaganda about how awesome Lu Xun, Lei Feng, Mao Zedong, etc. are and how awful the Qing Dynasty was and how great plays criticizing it are and how some little kid who's so talented it's creepy wants to draw a sea of flowers for the Dear Recently Departed Leader Zhou Enlai to stand in.
But well, that's just how PRC material is, I guess, or was at the time at least.
Meera wrote:By the way does anyone have any good recommendations of Mandarin films or dramas?
Yes. Eat Drink Man Woman
(飲食男女 Yǐn Shí Nán Nǚ
, 1994) by Ang Lee, who also directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(臥虎藏龍 Wòhǔ Cánglóng
, which is also in Mandarin, and Brokeback Mountain
lol). It's a movie that, in addition to having a good plot line, does an impressive job of portraying the sophisticated techniques of gourmet Chinese cuisine. Unfortunately, it's hard to find it with simultaneous subtitles in both Mandarin and English, and I don't think it's available on YouTube.
There's also a Singaporean movie called I Not Stupid Too
(2006), which is mostly in Mandarin. (It's actually the sequel to another movie called I Not Stupid
, which I've never seen
). It's basically about how Singaporean society puts way too much pressure on kids; much of the plot is applicable to other Asian societies as well.
From Mainland China, one well-known director is Zhang Yimou, and some of his movies are very famous. One of these is Raise the Red Lantern
(大紅燈籠高高掛 Dà Hóng Dēnglong Gāogāo Guà
, 1991), which is available online with simultaneous subtitles in both Traditional Chinese and English (it's also available with subtitles in quite a few languages, including Arabic, French, Indonesian, Japanese, and Persian, though no Hindi unfortunately
). There are a few others I've heard about but never seen like 菊豆 Jú Dòu
(1990), To Live
, 1994), and Red Sorghum
(红高粱 Hóng Gāoliáng
, 1987). All of these take place in Mainland China in the three decades before the establishment of the People's Republic. Beijing-based journalist and activist Dai Qing
criticizes some of these movies for being inaccurate and catered too much to Western tastes, so I found another Taiwanese movie called Five Girls and a Rope
(五個女子和一根繩子 Wǔ ge nǚzi hé yì gēn shéngzi
, 1990) by Hung-wei Yeh, a somewhat morbid (but hopefully more accurate!) portrayal of misogyny in early 20th
-century rural China.