Friday, February 03, 2006
The Chinese authorities seem to have banned Memoirs of a Geisha, apparently on the basis that it is offensive to the Chinese for Chinese women to play Japanese women (or possibly because of a cultural misunderstanding based on the idea that geisha are prostitutes and that for a Chinese woman to play a Japanese prostitute is insulting). There was a bit of a fuss in Japan about Japanese parts being given to foreigners, which I disagreed with but could at least understand. This smells like racism to me.
So let's recap, this is a not particularly good movie directed by an American and intended for a mainly Western audience, based on an orientalist novel by an American about a blue eyed geisha, which sets out to titillate long held Western fantasies of Asian women and which uses a queer assortment of variously Asian actresses to play the main Japanese roles. It is a movie which had to be promoted in Japan under the slogan "Japan like you have never known it" and which has now stirred up all kinds of anger in China and been banned over there for making a Chinese actress the heroine. Don't know about the Chinese decision but, if I was Japanese, I think I would want to ban it!
Posted by Nonjatta at 3:20 pm