China's filmmakers need to face up to the country's reality and work out stories and films that are relevant to today and which appeal to audiences both at home and abroad, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpts:
Film industries around the world have difficulty competing with Hollywood. Hollywood films flood into the Chinese cinemas and put heavy pressure on the country's filmmaking business. The film agreement reached between China and the United States earlier this year raised the annual import quota of US films from 20 to 34 and increased the US' revenue share from 13 percent to 25 percent.
The 15th Shanghai International Film Festival has exposed many problems in the country's film industry. Realistic films were few and far between at the festival. While Hollywood keeps incorporating the country's development and its values into its films and exporting them to the rest of the world, China seems stuck in portraying the past and shooting martial arts blockbusters.
No wonder, the world's impression of China still focuses on the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), men's long braids typical of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and foot binding. Those indeed are representative of China's past, but other parts are often neglected, and the true stories of China and its people have long been misread. The varnished and sometimes demonized images simply hold the real China back from the rest of the world.
Films can be a good conveyor of China's stories. Chinese filmmakers need to confront foreign competition, face up to the country's reality and work out stories and films that are relevant to audiences at home and abroad.
(China Daily 06/29/2012 page11)