China Aims to Present More Modern Self to Western Moviegoers

On October 15, the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 81 countries have submitted films for consideration for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, with three Chinese language films put forward – Go Away Mr. Tumor, representing the Chinese mainland; To the Fore, representing Hong Kong; and The Assassin from Taiwan. Unsurprisingly, the news garnered a great deal of attention in China due to expectations that either the Sino-French film Wolf Totem or famed director Jia Zhangke’s latest offering Mountains May Depart would be mainland China’s nomination. Han Yan, director of Go Away Mr. Tumor, has admitted to feeling “overwhelmingly surprised” on hearing of his film’s nomination despite the film’s domestic box office success this summer ( ). The romantic comedy tells the story of real-life cartoonist Xiong Dun (played by Bai Baihe) and her fight against cancer. Xiong’s brave spirit endeared the movie to Chinese audiences and also to audiences at the DC Chinese Film Festival 2015 in the US ( ), which may partly explain the movie’s nomination by SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film and Television of China). The decision to submit Han’s more contemporary film demonstrates a change in tactics with regards to the image China wants to project in the West. And it is not as though China’s past […]

Oct 22, 2015