I walked to the local movie theater (June, 2010) to see the new The Karate Kid staring Jaden Smith, which was filmed in China—mostly in Beijing. It was also the biggest modern movie co-produced between an American Studio and China. The themes from the old movie were there, but I enjoyed this movie more because it delivered something the old movie didn’t—a glimpse at Chinese culture.
The Jackie Chan character lives in a Hutong. If you want to learn more, I suggest The Last Days of Old Beijing by Michael Meyer. The Great Wall is about an hour from Beijing. I’ve been there too, but I’ve never seen it without people.
The trip to the top of Wudang Mountain, well known for its deep-rooted tradition of wushu (martial arts), took me to a place I’ve never been. Watching Jackie Chang and Jaden Smith climb that long, narrow stairway reminded me of mountains I’ve climbed that took my breath away in gasps with heart pounding.
China may not have elections where eligible citizens , stupid and smart, gets to vote as in America, but James Lassiter, a “Karate Kid” producer, says that in China “The people run the country, so if people didn’t want you shooting in their neighborhood, there’s no authority that can tell them they have to. That’s why it’s called the People’s Republic of China.” Source for quote: KansasCity.com
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress offers another look at China.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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