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A Glance into Chinese Culture
on May 20, 2000
Being an American of non-asian descent, I know little to nothing about the culture of the Far East. All I have ever seen of Japan and China has been through the eyes of Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Akira Kurosawa films. So when I have the opportunity to watch a movie that is not only well made but gives me the opportunity to learn more about such a far away and different culture, I jump at it. This was such a film.
Let me first applaud the acting, especially by Mr. Lung (Mr. Chu) and Ms. Wu (Jia-Chien). They were not only convincing, but seductive in their roles. The story was realistic and, contrary to reviews by Leonard Maltin, was unpredictable. Who could have guessed the way the story would unwind, to the final Sunday dinner.
What I found most engaging about the film was the character Jia-Chien. Her relationship with her family was complex. Lack of communication with her older sister led their love to become buried in angst and confusion. And although she set out to become a successful business woman, she struggled to find balance between her work and her love of cooking and her father. It became apparent to me that she was her fathers favorite daughter, and their apprehension toward showing their feelings was clouded by their lives outside the family, until they came to accept each other.
The only other film about Chinese culture (not martial arts) that I have seen is Joy Luck Club, and although this did not feature the same level of drama and pain, I enjoyed it just as much. See this movie.