Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon(2000): Cultural Hybridity

Globalization as a result of the transition of information, money, technologies among different places and groups of people on the earth becomes one of fundamental themes of contemporary period. Film industry, just like other industries, becomes embodiment of this tendency in contemporary society.

Park & Kumar (2003, P.4) argues that ‘unequal media flows an inequalities of technological access” which means this kind of global corporation causes the reshaping of power relationships among different nations to a certain extent. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) as a film of a Chinese wuxia story which directed by Lee An who comes from Taiwan and has US cultural background is a very typical example of the globalization of film industry. The success of this film in the global market seems indicates that oriental culture occupies a place in the global cultural era which is dominated by western culture for a long time. However, the high percentage of action elements in this film actually reveals that this film is more a product of global popular culture under the cover of oriental wuxia world than the success of oriental culture. In this case, the global narrative language which is mainly established by Hollywood reforms the inherited culture of orientals, offering a certain perspective to see the oriental world for people from all of the world and even for orientals themselves. But, on the other hand, This is a film which illustrates the oriental culture more or less by using global popular narrative language and makes the oriental culture occupies a place in or becomes part of the globalizaiton. The kind of sense of detachment in this film is felt both by eastern and western audiences, but at the same time, it breaks, or at least challenges that kind of thoroughly domination to a some extent and provides something, or in McLuhan’s words ‘ shared frames of reference and mutual knowledge between people cross globe” (cited in Eriksen, Globalization,2 ), that connects all audiences at the global level.It should be seen as a hybrid rather than purely a product of global popular culture or oriental culture.

The formation of culture under the tendency of globalization is a complex process in which the dominant power does exists, but it is necessary to see globalization with the view of Ajun Appadurai that it is a kind of flows rather than fixed positions (cited in Park & Kumar,2003, P.40-52). The balance between dominant and minority forms, the flexibility of and transition between different cultures are the key points of cultural hybridity  which is one of most important parts in the process of globalization.

Kumar and Parks eds., Planet TV: A Global Television Reader, New York: NYU Press

Thomas Hylland Eriksen, ‘Globalization: The Key Concepts, Oxford, New York: Berg

                                                                                                                                    By Yi Zhang


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