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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Movie and a Little Insight

This is a movie that me and my friends made. Actually, they made it and I just played a little part because I was really busy at the time. The movie is about 4 students and their struggle in pursuing their dreams. It is definitely an amateur movie, but I believe it reveals an underlying truth about the part of the cultural mindset of the youth in China.

*Note - this is an English-subbed Chinese language movie 90% of the duration. There is a 3 or 4 minute section where it is not subbed, but you can just watch and try to figure it out :) and when "Cat" AKA Janson starts singing at the end, keep watching :)

Three of these guys are my best friends. I do not know the "scientist", Jiang Feng pronounced (Jee-ah-ng Fung), the one with the glasses, very well. However, from long talks with all of my friends throughout my time in Lanzhou and other places, the sentiments expressed in this movie are echoed all throughout China's collegiate population.

The theme is this movie is the difficulty and feeling of impossibility in attaining one's dream. It's manifested most obviously in the song 老男孩,The Old Boy, which plays after each of the four guys encounters their difficulty or distraction. It begins at 8:49. Lyrics such as

"Look at the sky and scattered flowers
They withered in their most beautiful moment
Who will remember that they ever came into the world?"

Lyrics like this are so sad and are a real reflection of the feelings of the Chinese students, which is why this song is incredibly popular among China's students and young people. Chinese students have such huge dreams, to go to Qinghua University or Beijing University (China's Harvard and Yale) along with dreams that vary from person to person, such as "Cat"'s dream to become a master guitarist. He really is very good, but there is no outlet in China for him to really make a living from that, which leaves him in the dust. He told me that the times when he is happiest is on stage singing and playing guitar, but the times he can do it are too few as a college student and will only become less after college.
Pay attention to that, THAT is the underlying mindset. People have these amazing talents and dreams, but they have it in their head that no matter what they do, their dream will never be realized, so they do not even try. They don't try. Some of my friends wish to go to America for graduate school, but they feel the competition will be too hard in the English exam, so they are not going to try it because they, in their minds, know they cannot do it!! But their English is wonderful - they have the ability, but something about society has just crushed their initiative and self-confidence. It might also have something to do with the Chinese idea of modesty. They don't want to try because if they get the chance to go overseas, some people might think they are showing off their abilities and are egotistical, which is NOT a label you want to have in China.

This mindset is all over the place and is it one of the saddest things about China. It just breaks my heart to see people like these not go anywhere in life because of something society's drilled into them.

Near the end, there is a screen with Chinese that comes up. It basically says: "No matter how small the seed, because you don't give up, that seed can one day grow into a big and great can realize your dream in no time, but in order to realize our dreams, we expended great efforts!"

Dreams are something you have to work for - they don't just happen. They are totally right.

However, "Cat" and "Boss" have let go of that to a certain extent, because now they are both in Chicago's NEIU and will be there for 2 semesters! That's such a great thing! They have pursued their dreams!



  1. dude, i really wanted to hear you speak chinese.... and this video actually helped me. im goin through a time of being less than productive and i think it will help me desire to do what i really want and not get distracted.

    also, the lord of the rings music at the end was awesome!

  2. There is a part of the video, where after one of the guys deletes Black Ops, you see four characters, "奋进求是".

    "Strive forward and seek the truth"

    I've done my utmost never to forget that. I'm really glad it helped you out. It's a precious memory to me and always helps me when I'm feeling down or out of sync with what's going on.

    Haha I'm glad you recognized it!


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