Saturday, August 09, 2008

Zhang Yimou
The grand fiction of the opening ceremony of the Olympics took my breath away and made me cry. It wasn’t the theatrics, the pyrotechnics, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon suspended animation – it was the raw true belief. Watch the faces of those dancers as they swirl across their digital canvas making 3000 years of Chinese historical fiction real in the present. The key moment is the 56 exotic Children carting the red and four yellow stars across the Bird’s Nest: The little Uyghur in the lead on the far left holding hands with the Tibetan beside him while a nine year old Beijinger in pigtails lifts from her chest the Hymn for My Country about eternal friendship and unity/harmony. The 56 minorities hand off the flag to People’s Liberation Army troopers who reverence it with well-practiced precision – as the flag searches the sky for air the last soldier lets it slips through his longing fingers up and away into the natural world of wind and water.
Despite the Lang Lang-esque overindulgence of Zhang Yimou’s latest masterpiece – the fakery and saturation topped by a crunchy frosting of auspicious numerical astrology – the systematics of living breathing Chinese enacting and projecting their Chinese selves into the world at large was stunning and daunting. Impossible to ignore, it evokes an emotional response difficult to qualify. The sheer scale of it, the multiplex geometry of people making an imagined community come to life as a nation. This is the world Chinese people live in or at least want; we should watch out for the One World One Dream because they might just make it come true for you and me too. Like they sang towards the end there at the top of the spinning globe Wo he ni yi jia – you and me are one family. And at that moment I don’t think there was a dry Chinese eye in Beijing – it’s a dream finally come true.
Watch the ceremony here.


Blogger FlyingRabbit said...

Yes, it's an amazing show from China to the world. One world, One dream, that is just what I think the society of the future will be.

8:01 PM  

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