Overall the semester, we have been continuously talking about the cultural differences between Chinese and American, how they were being treated unequally when their first arrival, what kind of the discrimination law they have suffers, and how their next generation, the native-born view’s the previous generation. Nowadays, many of these about Chinese American experiences and stories have put into a film to show people.
In the class, we have watched four films, “Hollywood Chinese,” “The Joy Luck Club,” and “The Gua Sha Treatment,” these focusing on the interpretation of Chinese American experiences and the Chinese American perspective on heritage cultural maintenance. Based on these wonderful works, we can clearly see the native born have different views on their ancestors’ experiences and how different culture and misunderstanding almost lead to the family separation. In the film of “Hollywood Chinese” it captivating look at cinema history through the lens of the Chinese American experience.
Hollywood Chinese reveals long stories behind the Asian faces that have graced the silver screen, and weaves a rich and complicated tapestry, one marked by unforgettable performances and groundbreaking films, but also by a tangled history of race and representation. The film features a treasure trove of clips, punctuated with personal accounts from the movie industry’s most accomplished Chinese and Chinese American talents. Moreover, in the second film “The Joy Luck Club,” is written by Amy Tan, who is very famous in writing about mother-daughter relationships.
Through the story, it reveals the four mother-daughter’s hate and love relationship. All of the mothers were born in China and came to America, but their daughters were born in the United States. Due to the fact that the daughters were born in America, they are extremely Americanized. The daughters reject their mother’s seemingly constant criticism of everything they choose, from husbands to hairdos. They view their mothers’ warning as irrelevant, and their advice as intrusive.
The daughters do not know what has inspired their mothers’ warnings and advice; perhaps is the hardships their mothers suffered in China before coming to America. Meanwhile, this story not only portrays the mother-daughter relationship but also reveals the perspective from the native born of how they view their mother’s warnings, care, and complains. Since the four mothers’ marriages ended up with a tragedy, they hope their daughters would not have to go through the same path and pain as them. However, they are refused to accept their mothers’ advice when the marriage problem came to them.
Because of the daughters’ stubborn, the mothers watch with heartache as their daughters’ marriages fail, as they expect less and less, they accept less and less at the same time. While they are recalling the moments in their past when they were faced with similar circumstances but defied what they believed was bad fate in order to find their rue worth. Consequently, they do not value the Chinese heritage which their mothers valued dearly. Additionally, although Chinese American is considered as Chinese, their mind and way of thinking are totally different from a real Chinese due to their surroundings.
According to the film “The Joy Luck Club. ” Although the mothers notice their daughters’ marriage would be not perfect as they expected, they could not do anything because the daughters think the way they maintain a marriage is different from the past. However, they did not know their mother has the more experience than theirs. Since they have failed one time, they know how to fix the problem if they have the second chance. As a result, when the mother gives advices and warnings to their daughters, they are helping them to avoid the tragedy.
In other words, the mother is protecting the daughters; at the same time, they would never understand the mother’s position and response until they are on their position of being a mother. Furthermore, the last film “The Gua Sha Treatment” is discussed the culture different between the Chinese and America; at the same time, how the confusion of the treatment Gua Sha almost lead to a tragedy to occur. Through the story, the main character Datong Xu is a successful career and has a happy family. Datong has a five-year-old son, Dennis. However, his peaceful life did not last long.
He was accused of abusing his son because of the bruises from Gua He. In fact, Datong is not the person who gives Dennis Gua Sha treatment, it is Dennis grandfather. However, on the investigation, Datong insistently admits he is the one who gave Gua Sha to his son. At this point, it clearly shows the culture difference. In the Chinese traditional culture, laws do not mean anything, child should do every they can to protect their parents. In addition, the most obvious cultural difference from the film was that Chinese culture was based on experience and tangible things while western based on specific and visible evidences.
Gua Sha has been used as a treatment for thousands of years. It helps on move stuck blood, promoting normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated, and stimulate the related meridians to regulate the dysfunctions of the corresponding organs. At that time, many people advocate it for their own experience. However, when they have to explain, the do not know how to say it, the only thing they know is useful, but they do not have any information to prove that that. As a result, to persuade western to believer it seems impossible, which cultures conflict happens.
Besides, according to the movie, we also can find many cultural differences. At the begging of the movie, Datong’s wife did not like the grandfather to smoke at home, but she did not say anything and just directly opened the window every time when she saw him smoking. Certainly, the grandfather understands it quickly. On the contrary, Americans often get permission first, if they do not like it, they will speak up. Even though this is an unimpressive matter, it obviously manifests the differences between two cultures. Lastly, the ending of this movie is happy and warm. Gua Sha treatment eventually becomes explainable because of Datong’s boss.
And Datong’s family gained reunion on Christmas. At this point, no matter in East or West, family reunion and family love are enjoyable. Moreover, through the scene, there are not only many cultural gaps shown in the movie, but also ways of educating child, value of friendship, and concept of familial affection, all of these Chinese traditions torture Da Tong, especially during the assimilation into American culture. Meanwhile, many people regard Da Tong’s family tragedy as misunderstand resulted from cultural difference; however, I believe it is also regard to Datong’s attitude and actions during the assimilation.
But most importantly, it was mostly caused by racial discrimination racial. Overall, the Chinese custom is a very complicated concept. Throughout the three master pieces, they all point out the fact of the Chinese in a realistic way. At the same time, helping audiences to understand the custom in a clear way. Moreover, when someone take his/her own culture and tells the other person who has different culture, an intercultural communication occurs, which is a kind of communication between people whose cultural perceptions. This situation clearly shows on the film of “The Gua Treatment.
This film is a wonderful work, it does not illustrate the cultural differences, but also showing the other factors, such as racial discrimination, interracial friendship, and family relationship. Besides, the “Joy Luck Club,” is also a master piece, it lets audiences understand how the second generation have different perceptive with their ancestors and how they eventually appreciated everything their mother did for them. Lastly, people are alike and different. They carry their culture with them wherever they go, and it influences how they respond to the people they meet.