China Not Cool With Being Red Dawn's Bad Dudes

By Will LeBlanc 2010-06-07 06:40:00discussion comments
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There are two sides to this story, and I feel sympathetic to both as I stand on the fence. It's easy for me to say, "Calm down guys, it's just a movie," but the sad truth of it is that America's youth looks to movies to guide them and the Red Dawn remake may be guiding them in the wrong direction.

As the remake of the 1984 classic inches closer and closer to release some information has leaked about the film, and a few excerpts from the script have found their way into the hands of Chinese newspapers who are none too happy about what they saw. ABC News doesn't clarify what gets said in the script, but it bred a few not-so-nice headlines in the papers across the Pacific pond.

U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China.

American movie plants hostile seeds against China.


I tend to think this is an overreaction, but their concerns are a bit warranted. Citing our growing economic ties to the country, Chinese papers say they can still feel the U.S. "distrust and fear" against their people despite the two countries continuing work together. People certainly aren't going to see this movie and think the Chinese are going to roll tanks across our borders next month, but "Planting hostile seeds" may be the most apt way to put it. Which then raises the question: Whose responsibility is it to curb negativity against a country in film? Is it the U.S. who should cater to the masses by keeping this sort of thing off the big screen, or is it China's responsibility to sway their people away from taking this situation too seriously?

We saw the same sort of outrage from Nigeria at the release of District 9, with Nigerians being portrayed as evil witch doctors only interested in eating the flesh of aliens. The thing is, though, these are movies and they need conflict. If that conflict comes at us from a non-domestic source, someone is bound to be upset. You can't make everyone happy in this industry, so China is just going to have to suck it up and be a man about it.

Where do you guys fall in this debate? Let us know if you think China is over reacting, or if you think their concerns about what this movie may do to Chinese-American relations are valid. Fill up those comments and look for Red Dawn to hit theaters November 24th.
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