From The Awl. Possibly fan-made poster for Red Dawn.
While the Chinese culture bureaus are more than happy to play the heroes of Hollywood movies, it seems like they’re easily irked when the tables are turned. Apparently, two entire op-eds in the Global Times were devoted to how Red Dawn’s creators were demonizing China.
The original Red Dawn was a 1984-flick starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen about the Soviets suddenly invading a town in Middle America. They fight them off. The remake stars Thor and a son of Tom Cruise and is about the Chinese (accompanied by Russians for some inexplicable reason) invading a town in Middle America. (Side note: What’s with all these Sino-centric movies starring the kids of famous actors?)
I couldn’t find the parts the NY Times found, but I did come across this one from the People’s Daily that points out exactly what’s wrong with this movie:
The main plot of the film revolves around a future where the United States has fallen into a deep financial crisis. The Chinese armed forces invade in the name of helping the country to repair its economy and are finally defeated by a group of American teenagers. Because the entire film is full of dialogue about killing the Chinese as well as scenes smearing China’s image, many Chinese people are very angry.
According to sources, the film has many scenes that demonize China. For instance, the armed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and armored vehicles are seen patrolling streets in the United States. PLA soldiers armed with AK-47 rifles and wearing Chinese national flag armbands are seen posting political posters everywhere. PLA flags are seen flying over towns and banners and slogans are hanging on both sides of the streets. In addition, the PLA emblems are also printed on strip-shaped Nazi flags, implying that the PLA are Nazi collaborators.
The People’s Daily then goes on to mention New York-based blog, The Awl’s talk with MGM, where MGM categorically denies that the Red Dawn remake is anything but “an action film.” Its a shame they didn’t quote any of The Awl’s actual opinion, which is nuanced, thorough and outlines the real problems of racism against China and Asians in the United States.
Not that I expected more, but it looks like once again culture critics over here have gotten into the rut of lambasting a movie for being one-dimensional in the most one-dimensional way possible.
Also, People’s Daily’s pictures were all taken from the Awl and given made-up captions to make them more incendiary. Not cool.