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Confucianism Movie Examples


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#1 Melissa99

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:56 PM

For a project at school i need a movie that portrays the confucius view of life

if anyone has any idea of movies and which parts in the movies it would be greatly appriciated


thanks

#2 Publius

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:24 PM

First off, when I think of Confucianism I think of education, filial piety, morality, and governmental structure.

Off of the top of my head, I think of Disney's Mulan because it shows filial piety (respect for elders, the emperor, family, ancestors), shows a distinction between gender, and shows the importance of respecting ancestors.
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#3 Melissa99

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:32 PM

thank you so much!!
my friend also suggested Crouching tiger hidden dragon, and joy luck club
do you know of parts in either of those movies

#4 polar_zen

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:48 PM

The movie Hero with Jet Li.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

























At the end of the movie, Jet Li's character sacrifices his life for the good of the country and hence social harmony, a value prized by Confucius.
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#5 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 08:59 PM

Disney's Mulan clearly reflects the ancient confucian values such as filial piety, relationship between elderly and young, serving the nation (loyalty to nation), education etc.
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#6 yao_sugara

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 11:58 PM

I've movie of LUNYU presentation from Beijing univercity. I didn't think it's legal if we publish here.

#7 Publius

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 03:05 PM

thank you so much!!
my friend also suggested Crouching tiger hidden dragon, and joy luck club
do you know of parts in either of those movies


Sorry for the late reply and I hope this comment is still useful.

True. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Joy Luck Club reflect Confucian values. For Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, there are Confucian values present: the relationship between the master and the student, respecting other based on their station, the difference between men and women (i.e. women are supposed to marry people of a certain station and not out of love, and children, should obey their parents), etc... For the Joy Luck Club, you could draw upon the importance of family stressed in the movie.

Truthfully, I think that Confucist values could be identified in almost any Chinese made movie or in a movie representing China since Confucianism is so engrained in Chinese society that it becomes an integral part of society. As long as you know what Confucist values are, you will be able to draw enough comparisons for a paper. Good luck and have fun.
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#8 Rui Daxia

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:13 PM

Sorry to disagree with Polar Zen but Hero would not be a good example of Confucian thought or values.

First of all, the Qin was a legalist state that burned the Confucian classics and killed Confucian scholars. The drive to centralization at any cost and the total warfare without regard to the suffering of the people would be antithetical to Confucian ethics. Although nominally Confucian dynasties would do similar things in later times, this reflects the continuing influence of Legalism as a philosophy of government and the sheer pragmatics of power. It was not something advocated by any Confucian think i am aware of.

Confucius and most (maybe even all) of his recognized a more complex set of values. Loyalty to the state was important, but should the state's actions be wrong loyalty might demand dissent. Moreover, while not democratic by any means, Confucian theories of government did hold to a benevolent paternalism in which the state governs for the good of the governed by right of its virtue (think of Mencius or notions regarding the Mandate of Heaven).

Finally, I would suggest that Zhang Yimou's motive in making that film was to throw red meat to the Communist Party. Despite its gorgeous palette and interesting narrative structure it is deeply fascist. The "hero" of the title is not Jet Li's namelesss assassin but the Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, (reviled by Confucian historians for over two thousand years, but lionized by Mao). The central message is that China needs a strong hand to unite it and make it strong. This is the CCP's main claim to legitimacy in this post-ideological era.

Edited by Rui Daxia, 03 October 2007 - 07:36 PM.


#9 T98G

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 09:28 PM

Sorry to disagree with Polar Zen but Hero would not be a good example of Confucian thought or values.

First of all, the Qin was a legalist state that burned the Confucian classics and killed Confucian scholars. The drive to centralization at any cost and the total warfare without regard to the suffering of the people would be antithetical to Confucian ethics. Although nominally Confucian dynasties would do similar things in later times, this reflects the continuing influence of Legalism as a philosophy of government and the sheer pragmatics of power. It was not something advocated by any Confucian think i am aware of.

Confucius and most (maybe even all) of his recognized a more complex set of values. Loyalty to the state was important, but should the state's actions be wrong loyalty might demand dissent. Moreover, while not democratic by any means, Confucian theories of government did hold to a benevolent paternalism in which the state governs for the good of the governed by right of its virtue (think of Mencius or notions regarding the Mandate of Heaven).

Finally, I would suggest that Zhang Yimou's motive in making that film was to throw red meat to the Communist Party. Despite its gorgeous palette and interesting narrative structure it is deeply fascist. The "hero" of the title is not Jet Li's namelesss assassin but the Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, (reviled by Confucian historians for over two thousand years, but lionized by Mao). The central message is that China needs a strong hand to unite it and make it strong. This is the CCP's main claim to legitimacy in this post-ideological era.

That is problem with telling the two philosophy apart, Legalism has been used as a state philosophy since the unification of Qin and Confucianism has been add in to it since the Han dynasty. As a result, what was thought of as Confucianism philosophy was actually Legalism.

Edited by T98G, 08 October 2007 - 09:35 PM.

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