Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beware of Mainland China's Fearsome Public Diplomacy

Chinese Communist Film Premiere at Lincoln Center a Big Flop - Jenny Yang, Epoch Times

The Chinese communist regime’s United Front soft-power propaganda war aimed at shaping world opinion through culture, film, and media, has just fired an embarrassing dud, with not a single audience member showing up at the 2011 China Movie Culture Week opening night at New York’s Lincoln Center.

The 2011 China Movie Culture Week, hosted by China’s Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, and Columbia University, encountered an embarrassment--no one showed up at its Oct. 17 premiere of the movie “Founding of a Republic,” not even anyone from the hosting organizations.

The flop has become a joke on international Chinese media.

Taiwan’s Want Daily said, although the communist regime spent a large amount of money promoting the 2011 China Film Culture Week in New York, the first movie, “Founding of a Republic,” playing at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, had no audience showing up, so the opening banquet there was canceled and changed to the night of Oct. 18 at Columbia University Auditorium.

A China-U.S. Scholar Seminar on Oct. 18 was also canceled. The topic of the seminar was on the development of the Chinese film industry and its contribution to world film culture. This cancellation was not announced either.

State controlled media quoted reports from Guangming Daily, which didn’t mention the premiere flop at all. It only said the 2011 China Movie Culture Week started on Oct. 17, and that its aim was to let Americans enjoy a rich retreat of authentic Chinese culture through excellent movies made in China in recent years.

Patriotic Communist Propaganda

“Founding of a Republic” was financed by the Chinese communist party’s (CCP) largest state owned film company, China Film Corporation. The movie is a patriotic propaganda piece set in Beijing between 1945 and 1949, glorifying the communist takeover of China.

When the movie was released in mainland China in 2009, it received many negative comments from netizens there. They found it most ironic that the regime had utilized so many “foreigners,” overseas Chinese actors, in this patriotic film. Most celebrity figures of China’s entertainment industry have immigrated to foreign countries, such as the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Singapore.

One netizen said it was hilarious to have people who abandoned Chinese nationality educate Chinese people on patriotism.

Another said it demonstrated the “failure of 60 years of patriotism,” and was a “huge irony!”

Some went so far as saying the film “shames modern Chinese movies.”

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