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cultural conflicts between east and west which Pushing Hands reflects

可能电影要表现的东西太多了,各种镜头穿插得不够自然,人物的表演也略嫌刻意,女演员王莱念台词时的表演痕迹太明显。不过作为李安导演的电影处女作,那些瑕疵都无可厚非。整部片子充满了浓郁的中国传统文化风情,不少细节值得推敲和品位。

        The main conflicts is between Weitong and his parents, Weiwei
and Weitong, Weitong and Simon. There are four kinds of cultural
differences grow from these conflicts.
        The first one is the relationship between children and parents.
In the movie, Weitong absolutely has some fear for his parents. Not like
Simon, he is used to obey his parents for almost everything, he doesn’t
dare to tell his parents that he is a gay, he prefer a fake and
troublesome marriage than telling his parents the truth. In America,
parents and children are more like friends while in China they are more
like leader-member relationship. Parents are mostly the first choice if
an American wants to come out, but in the movie, Weitong’s parents are
the last to know the sexuality of their own son. And they still think
that they understand and can control everything of their son, children
is more like an owned stuff than an independent individual to them. They
would think that everything they do for their son is for his own good,
and they are definitely right without doubt. Their son should obey, need
obey, have to obey without hesitation.
        The second is the traditions of a wedding. We can see in the
movie that a Chinese wedding banquet is about inviting all friends,
relates having long speech, toasting around, having a feast and teasing
bride and bridegroom on wedding night. Weitong’s parents cannot accept a
simple family dinner as a wedding, they think the more simple the
celebration is, the more shame they get on their face. This is the shame
culture in Chinese world. The Americans focus more on their own values,
therefore, they don’t care that much about how other people would think
of themselves. They won’t hold a big celebration for wedding if they
don’t feel like to. But obviously, Weitong is forced to have this
wedding banquet. The shame culture is build on the sense of enforcement.
Like the newlywed are supposed to toast around all the tables, relates
are supposed to give a long speech, and friends are supposed to tease
newlywed in the bridal chamber. They may don’t really want to do those
things, but if they don’t, other people would look down on them. In
western world, most time, people only do the things they want. And I
think it is also the shame culture that make Chinese people telling
white lies all the time. They would think they are cheating for
everyone’s good. Like in the end, Weitong’s father and mother both know
the truth, but they don’t want each other to know, and think this is the
best way they can keep the outer peace of this family.
        And there are some little cultural differences of habits showed
in the movie. Like Weitong would regularly go to gym to exercise and
release pressure, that’s American way, while his father would go to walk
in the morning to exercise. Chinese would hire a moving company to move
rather than move themselves like Americans. Chinese parents always want
a daughter-in-law with good cooking skills, they are searching for a
girl to take care of living details for their son, instead a girl their
son loves.
        Above are basically the cultural differences I have seen in the
movie The Wedding Banquet, and I think these are happening not only
abroad but in every family in China now, for we are the generation of
Internet and Internationalism, while our parents have grown up in a
totally different China.

        A drama about finding forgiveness based on a novel of the same
name, Aftershock depicts not only the fatal tragedy that is brought on
by a natural catastrophe, but also the strength and courage demonstrated
when people face extreme and devastating situations.
        The story unfolds with the mother, Li Yuanni, who just survived
the Tang Shan earthquake thanks to the self-sacrifice of her husband,
being informed by the rescue team that her 7-year old twins are buried
under the debris close to each other. As digging one out would result in
further collapse of the wreckage on the other, she was forced to make
the most difficult decision of her life. As the clock ticked away, she
finally ended her struggle and chose to save the boy, and though
heartbroken, she had no idea her decision was overheard by her daughter.
Deemed as a dead person, the little girl miraculously survived and was
rescued by the military several days later. Suffering from the emotional
shock of the disaster and the painful memory of her mother’s choice, she
refused to talk or reveal who she was. Adopted by a young couple, got
pregnant accidentally in college and later moved to the US, she was
shadowed by the traumatic experience from her childhood, and forever
remained emotionally closed up.
        When the Sichuan earthquake takes over 80,000 lives in 2008, she
volunteers to join the rescue team and returns to her homeland, China.
As she witnesses the tribulations people go through when a natural
disaster takes place, she finally unlocks the pain she had felt all
these years, finds forgiveness and reunites with the mother and her twin
brother she had parted from after 32 years (Chong).
        A movie centering on two women, a regretful mother and her
separated daughter haunted by her childhood trauma, the film brings on
screen and to the center of social consciousness the issues of Chinese
women and the traditional family values – Nan Zun Nv Bei (the
distinguished male and humble female) and Cong Yi Er Zhong (married
once, married forever).
        The story starts with the happy and harmonious life of a middle
class family in pre-earthquake Tangshan in 1976. The structure of the
family sets up the ideological patriarchal assumption of the film: the
father Fang Daqiang is a bus driver and the breadwinner of the family.
His economic status and male role also defines him as the ruling class
within the family; the female leading character Li Yuanni is a wife and
mother, a typical Chinese woman happily subordinated to her husband at
home; and then there are the son and the daughter, the future
generations whose roles are not yet sexually or socially defined. As the
default setting in most contemporary Chinese cinema, the protagonists’
family is an epitome of the ordinary family structure in Tangshan. On
behalf of the ruling class, patriarchy is articulated as a consensus, a
premise received and acknowledged by everybody.
        Female oppression is disguised by the peaceful life of the city;
and the family celebrates the growing postsocialist modernity,
culminated with the scene of the young couple having sex in the back of
the husband’s truck, a signifier of economic wealth. In this scene, the
female body becomes a sex tool, while the man remains to represent the
working tool in industrial production. As the female character Yuanni
certainly enjoys the excitement of wild sex, jokingly asking her husband
if they are the only people in Tangshan doing “this thing” at the time,
the audiences, with the anticipation of an earthquake and the following
ordeal, will easily accept the pre-earthquake way of family life as an
ideal model, giving patriarchy and class oppression legitimized names.
        Socialist feminists believe that the home is not just a place of
consumption, but of production as well. Women’s work within the home,
having and raising children, as well as supporting men by doing cooking,
cleaning, and other forms of housework which permit men to work outside
the home, are all forms of production because they contribute to society
at large. Production, according to socialist feminists, should not be
measured in dollars, but rather in social worth (Lilith eZine). However,
in the opening sequence of Aftershock, the image of a traditional
Chinese home is romanticized, as in contrast with the destruction of the
home after the earthquake. The woman Yuanni’s satisfaction with her
gender at home is also emphasized and eulogized, thus her oppression
becomes invisible to both the narrative and the audiences. As is also
the case of the society, Yuanni represents the contemporary Chinese
woman, the powerless and subordinate class who do not see themself as
oppressed or exploited under the ideological control of the dominant
class through the production of cultural texts and practices. As Karl
Marx suggests, “the mode of production of material life conditions the
social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not
the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the
contrary it is their social being that determines their consciousness”
(Marx).
        There are also cues in the sequence that embraces post-socialist
modernity: the director uses a series of shots, including close-ups
focusing on the two kids enjoying the fan, a signifier of modern
technology given by their father. The kids are moving in accordance with
the panning fan, saying, “Cool.” The two kids also fight for a red apple
in the house, another signifier of growing wealth in pre-modernized
China, and the mother Yuanni undoubtedly asks the daughter to give the
apple to her little brother for the excuse that he is younger, a hint
foreshadowing her later “boy or girl” decision. However, prior to the
fan-enjoying scene, the little girl Fang Deng remarkably shows a
feminist feat: after her younger brother Fang Da being bullied by a
elder boy, Fang Deng assaults the boy from behind and immediately runs
away with her brother. Such rebellious characteristic remains in later
parts of the film as she grows up.
        Unfortunately the disastrous earthquake ruins everything. The
city collapses, and the father Fang Daqiang sacrifices his life saving
his wife Yuanni. Such narrative seems to be allegorical of the
destruction of the current social order and patriarchy, but soon the
illusion is denied. As the survivor of the earthquake, Yuanni still
chooses to live under the patriarchal system. Every Chinese lunar New
Year, Yuanni will talk to the plaque of her dead husband, the
replacement and re-embodiment of the male power of the family that sits
in the middle of the table, and burn paper money to the dead. Yuanni
also refuses to move and insists to stay in her shabby apartment so that
the dead will know how to find the way back. Once again, the
reinforcement of the phallic power and the patriarchal order hides
behind the criticism of superstition.
        In addition, Yuanni refuses to get married again. Even though
there is a nice man pursuing her, she chooses to stay with her dead
husband. Her loyalty and adherence to her dead husband, coupled with her
independence in bringing up her amputated sun is highly commended in the
film. Thus, female subordination is equalized to loyalty and adherence.
An energetic and passionate woman who enjoys wild lovemaking at first,
Yuanni soon learns to suppress her own sexual desire and becomes a
virtuous widow. In creating the respectful image of the mother, the film
also delivers a message that highly confirms the “married once, married
forever” traditional value which is very contributive to maintain the
low divorce rate in Mainland China. Hense the eulogy of a woman’s
loyalty to her husband endorses the ideological oppression of women.
There are also hidden messages conveying here that once a woman is
married to a man, she becomes his commodity forever, even if the owner
of the commodity no longer physically exists anymore, and that a woman
should not pursue individual happiness beyond her family’s collectivity.
The center of a woman’s life will always be a man instead of herself.
For a married woman with kids, her life should either be affiliated with
her husband or her son and she is forever the “second sex,” an object or
accessory of a man. However, as well as a film in the background of a
disaster, Titanic presents a total different value and ideology. Also a
woman who lost her loved one, Rose got married after she was rescued
from the ocean and became a mother and grandmother. Likewise suffering
from the loss and trauma, she chose to pursue her own happiness as a
tribute to Jack’s love and self-sacrifice, which forms a sharp contrast
with her virtuous Chinese counterpart Yuanni.
        On the other hand, there are certain characteristics of Yuanni
that sound feministic. As a helpless single mother, Yuanni alone bears
the important task of raising her disabled boy Fangda who lost an arm in
the earthquake. In ordinary people’s view, a family without a father is
doomed to be tragic. Especially in a patriarchal world, the absence of
the father indicates the incompleteness of a family. However, Yuanni’s
insistence and obstinacy of taking care of the boy alone and her refusal
to let her husband’s family take the child away, displays the strength
and independence of a woman, and defies the mainstream patriarchal
discourse.
        The character of the daughter Fang Deng, a traumatized survivor
and victim of the earthquake, also becomes a victim of the
post-socialist and patriarchal society. Protecting her younger brother
by getting revenge on the elder boy who bullied her brother, Fang Deng
appeared to be a brave girl who was able to do things better than boys.
After being adopted by the infertile couple of the military, Fang Deng
also showed a strong sense of self-consciousness. Although she remained
silent at the beginning, she was solitary, and full of personality.
However, her personality is not enough to change her social role as a
woman. After going to college, she got pregnant accidentally and was
abandoned by her boyfriend, an irresponsible graduate student. Deciding
not to abort her child as what her mom did to her, she gave birth to the
baby. And rebellious enough, she quitted school, became a private
English teacher, and refused help from her adoptive father, which can be
read as a repudiation and denial of patriarchy. A single mother with her
child, she struggled to make a living but was not successful. However
strong and adamant she was, the society relentlessly oppressed and
denied her independent existence as a proletariat woman. Eventually, she
surrendered and escaped to patriarchy and capitalism -her rescue came
with the offer of a wealthy white man from Canada. Thus, her identity is
realized as the wife of a successful foreign man, not through being a
successful woman herself. The feminist ideal comes to disillusionment,
and director provides no solution for women’s fate in contemporary
Chinese society other than submission to the current order. Even though
the woman seems to have fled to an alien haven, her refuge still cannot
escape patriarchy and class division.
        Even though it is a film constructed on patriarchal and
post-socialist ideology, Aftershock shows a rather ambiguous attitude
towards Chinese patriarchy and phallocentrism. Like some of Zhang
Yimou’s early films such as Raise the Red Lantern, or Yellow Earth,
which were criticized for self-orientalising and offering exotic male
gaze for western audiences by masking the father characters, the image
of the father is also almost absent in Feng Xiaogang’s Aftershock. Fang
Daqiang, father of Fang Deng and Fang Da, dies in the earthquake and
becomes absent. The adoptive father Mr. Wang, starring veteran Chinese
actor Chen Daoming, is an official in the Chinese military whose male
identity as a father is incomplete because of his impotence. Fang Deng’s
college boyfriend turns out to be an irresponsible coward who dares not
accept his own mistake; his lack of courage and his punishment – a slam
in the face by the adoptive father deny his masculinity. Fang Da is the
mother’s good boy and an amputated man, and his “lack” also suggests
that his maleness is also somehow not complete. And finally there is a
masculine foreign man, healthy and wealthy, who stands out as a threat
for Chinese men and causes anxiety among Chinese male audiences.
        Eventually, Fang Da re-establishes the patriarchal order in the
family after he has become wealthy and married. Driving a BMW, Fang Da’s
marriage comes along with his economic success. The upgrading of his
social status from a tricycle riding proletariat to a fancy car-owning
bourgeois thus guarantees his role in the ruling class of his family. In
the scene in which he and his wife went back home to visit his mom, he
yells at his wife and commands her to leave their baby with Yuanni for
the lunar New Year. Don’t have the right of decision-making in the
family, the wife Xiao He cannot resist but cry. Exclaiming that “don’t
think that I married you because of your money,” Xiao He arouses the
audiences’ laughter in the cinema since they are all familiar with
Feng’s idiomatic “thief crying stop thief” humor as they sniff at Xiao
He: “now you regret marrying a man because of his money, huh?” Failing
to persuade Xiao He, Fang Da reveals his male chauvinism by chiding her:
“You don’t have the right to make a decision for this matter. You have
to listen to me.” With tears in her eyes, Xiao He fights back by saying
that “don’t bully me too much, otherwise the chicken will fly away with
the eggs (a metaphor that she might divorce with him).” Totally
disregarding her threat, Fang Da replies that “there is no shortage of
chicken, and eggs can be laid again as well.” Playing with the humor,
the director boldly reinforces such a hegemonic male chauvinism to his
audiences, as they identify with Fang Da, a civilian hero who changes
his destiny by fighting against the adversity of his life and gaining
success in the competitive modern urban China and pity with the elder
mother Yuanni, who has been lonely since her son left her to work in the
city. Xiao He, on the other hand, is depicted as a cheap woman who has
no self-esteem because of her need for money and wealth. Even though her
individual consciousness suddenly awakes along with her maternal love at
the fear of losing her baby, she surrenders to the patriarchy and
hierarchy as she obeys and compromises with her husband eventually. In
this scene, the film’s visual devices include close-ups to centralize
the young heroine Xiao He and montage editing between the husband and
wife to reinforce class conflict and oppression of women.
        A film that attracts audiences to cinema with its highly
promoted visual effects, Aftershock sells the story of a family
melodrama that manipulates audiences’ emotions from sudden laughter to
collective tear-downpour. Although a film that eulogizes a mother’s
selfless love and insistence, and the daughter’s ultimate understanding
and forgiveness of her misunderstood mother, the film expresses a
fatalistic powerlessness of femininity towards Chinese patriarchy and
post-socialist modernity.

Filial duty is considered as the most important rule in Chinese
traditional family.Children ought to return for the ex-upbringing of
their parents. In the film Pushing Hands,the only son Xiaosheng(Alex)
accepted education in China since childhood. There is an inrooted sense
that he should exert respect for his lonely father,a retired taiji
Master, Mr.Zhu. Several years after his getting married in America, he
received Master Zhu to wait upon him. That is the typical Chinese moral
principles. While in western countries, people’s education and idea of
culture value individuality and independence. Living under the same
roof, each family member has their own space and privacy.Thus we can
predict that the American wife Martha will feel discomfort.As it so
happens, Martha’s writer’s block started about the same time Master Zhu
moved in. Besides, the language barrier increases the divergency between
them. Family contradiction was on the verge.Being a writer, the neurotic
Martha could not bear it that her creative space was totally disturbed
by the Chinese father, let alone realize the Chinese traditional ethics

Short introduction of plot
Gao Weitong is homosexual and lives in the NYC with his partner Simon.
Weitong’s parents want Weitong to get married ASAP. Simon advise Weitong
pretend to get married with Weiwei who is an illegal immigrator from
China, for Weitong can get rid of his parents, their friend Weiwei can
get a green card, and Weitong can have a big tax cutoff. After Weitong’s
parents hear about the marriage, they insist to come to America. During
the wedding we can see lots of conflicts between each member of this
family, those conflicts reveal many vitally cultural differences between
eastern and western world.

  • sons need to provide their old parents. In America, children live
    separately from their parents when they become adults. Only sometimes
    they go for a family visit.
    We can find a great enrichment of Chinese traditional culture in the
    role of Master Zhu, such as Taiji , calligraphy, go set, cuisine, long
    gown clothes, fabric shoes and the serious generational concept.
    However, those antique displays of culture are too unacquainted to
    Martha. Likewise, Master Zhu can not understand that why Martha should
    so much coddle her son, as well as grasp both career and family.
    Everyday,there are two kinds of food put on one table—fruit&vegetable
    salad and Chinese dishes, which shows how different the local customs
    and practices are.
    As to the son Alex, what choice he will make to solute the household
    problem? As the distancing and tension grow, some distressing plots
    unfold in the film. Master Zhu lost his way during the afternoon walk,
    leading to an outburst of blame from Xiaosheng towards Martha. He
    queries Martha, ” I grew up believing you should care for your parents
    the way they care for you. My father is a part of me. Why can’t you
    accept that?” Trying to be a filial son and a responsible huaband, Alex
    is deeply trapped by these cultural conflicts. Waking up the next
    morning after drunk, he finally followed the mind that ” the old man has
    to go”, which is to associate with his wife, family and private life.
    Feeling alienated by Alex, Master Zhu decided to leave.
    In the end of the movie, Mr.Zhu lived by himself independently while
    Alex came to visit him once in a while. Martha respectfully hangs the
    sword of her father-in-law. It may hint a subtitle mutual cultural
    acceptance between the old Chinese taiji master and the American
    daughter-in-law. That is a way how the cultural uncertainties represent
    .

上课作业 贴出来 方便你我 我是有奉献精神的好孩子

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