Friday, April 11, 2008

Cultural Revolution

Perhaps it is not so much about hauntology that we had discussed in class but I really wonder why the three films (The Blue Kite, Peacock, The Sun Also Rises) about Cultural Revolution we have discussed so far were structured in such a similar way that each of them was clearly divided into at least three main parts. When I thought it was telling a different story from time to time, it would then hint on me that the story was going on within the same circle of people and both the temporal and spatial settings had intertwined so closely that they actually came together as a holistic piece of work finally. But why it was like a formula that the 5th generation Chinese directors had to split their films in parts?

Each time when a new part began, a different perspective was suggested. For example in Peacock, the story was basically told through the perspectives of two brothers and their sister. Above this layer of three stories was another onionskin made of the memory of the youngest brother who happened to be the narrator to wrap up this entire bluish memory. As the surface slowly peeled off, we not only learnt about the grow-up stories of the three but also the daily trivial life of ordinary Chinese people after the Cultural Revolution, which could only be made objective and significant through multiple points of narrative. Simply no one caught a full picture of the incident and that any single point of view towards such an important traumatic history would be a disregard.

Changes take time. In order to capture the visible, the temporal framework of the films had to be expanded to, say, at least one year in The Sun Also Rises and 10 years in Peacock so as to pick up some diamonds in this spectrum of social change.

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