Lee’s first Oscar award film– Crouching Tiger，Hidden Dragon. It is a China-Hong Kong-Taiwan-United States co-production film. As a Taiwanese director studying and working in US for many years, Lee prefers to taking the perspective of western culture and experience to compare with the eastern culture. This film is such a product that about Chinese culture has the possibility to connect the differences between the east and west. Lee let the west audience go into an acceptable and surprising wuxia world.
He considers that the eastern culture promotes the collectivism, which means tolerance, put emphasis on overall situation, to the contrary, the westerners advocate individualism, they like to act with courage and determination. In this film, there are two radical images of females. They also stand for these two cultures. From submissive woman to tough woman, Shu Lien is a successful leader of her family business, because of the growth surrounding, she is the traditional stereotype character of Chinese culture and completely repress her own emotions.
Jen is nobility and extremely intelligent. She should be in purdah, but long for freedom. Finally, she chose to escape from the political alliance and live with Hu forever. Jen is obviously the symbol of western culture.
This is why there are also many critics recognize the feminist thoughts represented in the film. Moreover, from scriptwriter, photographers to music producer, the creative team of Crouching Tiger，Hidden Dragon would have to be a model of mutual cooperation between east and west. For the use of music, Lee both uses the Chinese traditional musical instrument, like erhu, drum and vertical bamboo flute, he also uses guitar and violoncello which from west. He found a good harmony and balance in these collisions and presented these different cultures incisively and vividly.
Lee has successfully find out a way to transcend cultural boundaries to let the audience worldwide accept and enjoy his wuxia world. According to Christina Klein, Crouching Tiger，Hidden Dragon is “the most commercially successful foreign-language film in U.S. history and the first Chinese-language film to find a mass American audience.”
written by Xi Chen
Klein, Christina. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: A Diasporic Reading.” Cinema
Journal 43 (2004): 18-42.
Comparative American Studies An International Journal 2004, Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi) www.sagepublication.com Vol 2(3): 360-384