China and Neighbourhood

Confucius Vs. Avatar: Rethinking Confucian Advocacy in the 21st Century

0 72

By Antony Ou | 24 September 2010


 

Confucius_300_200

Fei Mu, who is now regarded as one of the all-time-favourite directors of China, filmed Confucius in 1940 during the time of the Japanese invasion. He attempted to reconstruct the life of Confucius (551-479BC) during the period of Spring and Autumn (770-476 B.C.). Every copy of the film had supposedly lost and forgotten until 2001, Hong Kong Film Archive has received an anonymous film donation of the long-lost movie. It was restored and shown in 2010. After watching the film twice in 2010, as a scholar of Confucianism, I do not think that the movie carries exceptionally strong modern political message, although Fei Mu was a patriot who produced several crucial patriotic movies. Instead, Fei Mu tried to provide us a very plain and overall picture of Confucius within his context: A chaotic and divided feudal state of Lu with internal struggles for power. Confucius, at his age of 50, was exiled and travelled to other countries for 14 years in order to pursue his moral and political ideal of ren (benevolence). He had never succeeded and went into many kinds of troubles. Nevertheless, his teachings have subsequently influenced imperial China for more than 2000 years afterwards.

Hu Mei has made another film of Confucius this year in 2010. It has created numbers of controversies at the same time. The film was originally scheduled in 2009, which was the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, the release date was adjourned to January 2010. The new Confucius movie takes a very different approach from the old one by “hollywoodizing” Confucius— Confucius becomes a “nationalist” and an almost derailed lover. One can argue that these were propaganda strategies that could possibly boost the box-office (Gross revenue of 127 millions RMB). Yet, Chinese people seem to prefer James Cameron’s movie Avatar, which received around $700 millions RMB nation-wide (2.7 billion USD worldwide). The film has conquered the Chinese box office for three weeks and received positive reviews. Why do the Chinese people like Avatar, much more than their very own national “avatar” Confucius? Why do the Americanized futuristic freedom fighters won over the “blood and soil related” ancient Chinese saint?

  • Avatar and Its Implication to China

The movie Avatar sets the time in 2154, where human beings invade the planet of Pandora, for the sake of unobtanium, a type of precious energy for the Earth. The “hawkish” humans ignore and damage the population, culture, feelings, and rob natural resources of the Na’vi, the human-like inhabitants with blue skins. At the same time, human scientists create Na’vi-human hybrid bodies, namely avatars. The avatars are connected to human controllers’ neurons so that they can remotely control their avatars. The avatars are the “good guys” who attempt to make friends with the Na’vi, and that is how the story begins.

 

Want to Read More?

 

Political Reflection (PR) Magazine (PDF | 3.851 KB)

 

* Published in the Third Issue of Political Reflection Magazine (PR).

About the author / 

CESRAN Int.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CESRAN Blog

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…

  • THE 18TH ISSUE OF THE REST: JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT IS OUT NOW.

    The 18th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles The Foreign Policy Decision Making Approaches and Their Applications Case Study: Bush, Obama and Trump’s Decision Making towards Afghanistan and the Region By Sharifullah Dorani Evaluating the Explanatory Power of Social Identity Theory,…

Newsletter