The movies might soon have us believe it. From Paul French in Shanghai.
The Chinese internet is full of debate about movies – the latest being the climate change shocker 2012.
In the past the Chinese blogosphere has either loved or hated any number of foreign films – Kung Fu Panda (cute vs insulting), Mulan (Hollywood theft of Chinese culture) and most recently Transformers: Robot Heroes (where Shanghai gets wiped out annoying some who saw it as an attack on China).
And now eco-warning flick 2012.
In the movie lots of survivors of a global environmental disaster end up in China where they try to board a sort of giant Ark (Made in China, many have noticed).
Great, say China’s bloggers who like the film – you see, China will save the world; terrible, say others, the Chinese are shown as thuggish and controlling who gets to survive and who doesn’t.
Others have pointed out that the Chinese are shown saving the elite and leaving ‘the workers’ to die – rather callous – while the brave and honourable American demands they try and save everyone.
You get the idea – good westerners, bad Chinese. Chinese pragmatism vs Western romanticism others argue.
And so the debate has raged in China – are they the good guys or the bad guys when the environmental apocalypse comes?
All this ensured that 2012 became the No.1 movie at the Chinese box office (and spawned millions of pirated DVD copies on every street corner (let’s just hope the Arks aren’t fake when the time comes!) – see the cover of one below).
Importantly it seems that China’s infamously touchy film censors thought the film bigged up China – only 20 foreign films a year are allowed to be shown at Chinese cinemas and 2012 made the cut.
Actually, the uncut–2012 has not been cut by the censors unlike other recent movies that featured China, such as Mission Impossible III.
The questions that remains unanswered are:
1) did 2012 director Roland Emmerich purposely try to show China saving the world from environmental catastrophe to ensure good box office takings in a country of 1.3 billion people?
And 2) are the Chinese really building those giant arks to take us all to safety?