Last night, my family plus my aunt from China went to see Mao's Last Dancer. I was expecting an epic tale but like many film critics I was left feeling underwhelmed...
My father's thoughts were he (Li Cunxin) hadn't seen pain, he hadn't felt the immense hunger, terror, sadness, fear and love for his family...and that he was extremely lucky...and look where he is now...very successful- a rich broker...what a great outcome for the rest of the Chinese population.
The thing that bothers me most was that he left his family to feed themselves - 6 brothers and his hard-working and extremely poverty-stricken parents...he defected because he fell in love with some woman in 3 months' time. He defected because he liked the freedom "dancing disco in nightclubs"...so he chose lust (not love because they were clearly imcompatible as he later found out) and freedom over his family's well-being, love, care....what a great son....
I would never do that, leave my family. Obviously, his parents and brothers would have been extremely proud of his success and forgiven him and now the rest of the world has formed a different opinion.
I am glad Westerners see the same as I. The following is a link to a SMH movie review http://bit.ly/mRPiq.
I learnt that I am more Western than Eastern now and that I need to find my roots not because I feel guilty for loosing them but because I am proud of who I am and what our culture stands for. For that I think a round of applause is necessary.
Obviously, Li doesn't require any luck because the world is his at the moment but I feel for all the other Chinese people who have suffered so greatly that no one words can ever be expressed but what we all keep are the memories. These memories will never be forgotten. These memories will never be lost. These memories will always remind us of how strong, determined and hard-working we are.
With that, I am signing out to reseek my beautiful Chinese traditions, beliefs and culture...and even find my mother and father right now so I can give them a hug.