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The Complexity of Chinese Figures in Hollywood Movies

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DOI: 10.25236/ICHCAD.2019.012


Hongyuan Ye

Corresponding Author

Hongyuan Ye


Chinese figures in Hollywood movies, despite its popularity, are presented in a more complex situation than being simply defamed or praised. Considering the uprising economic and political impacts of China as well as the need to avoid cultural discrimination and the boosting cultural confidence for Chinese, it is worth exploring the complexity of Chinese figures in Hollywood instead of repeating the linear development of the figure presentations or the arbitrary conclusion that the deviation of Chinese figures is caused by cultural stereotypes drawn by most previous researchers. This paper examines the complexity from three dimensions. First, directors, not the producers, proves one of the most influential person constructing Chinese figures based on their personal styles or perception of Chinese culture. Also, cultural hegemonism, manifested as the borrowing and recomposition of traditional Chinese elements, causes misunderstandings of Chinese culture since the figures in the movies are created to promote the export of American value. Moreover, recessive ignorance of the changing identities of Chinese people outdates the presentation of Chinese figures in Hollywood movies. To reverse such unsatisfactory filmmaking strategies, mutual and equal cultural communication is necessary.


Chinese figures; Hollywood; Movies; Directors; Cultural hegemonism; Identity