Join our film discussion on famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou's Kungfu movie "Hero". Please watch this film at home before the film chat if possible. The DVD of "Hero" (with English subtitles) can be found in any of small DVD shops around you in China.

Guo Aimin, Chinese culture and history teacher from Peking University will share with us his thoughts on the spirit of "xia" (knight) , which reflected in this Wuxia (martial artists) film. Guo will also give some historical background and knowledge of Qin Dynasty of China.

Venue: China Culture Center, Liangmaqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.
  • About the "Hero"

    Hero is a 2002 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the film is based on the story of Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC. Hero was first released in China on October 24, 2002. At that time, it was the most expensive project and the highest-grossing motion picture in Chinese film history.

    The film received extremely favorable reviews, scoring 95% at Rotten Tomatoes and 84 at Metacritic. Roger Ebert called it "beautiful and beguiling, a martial arts extravaganza defining the styles and lives of its fighters within Chinese tradition." Richard Corliss of Time described it as "the masterpiece", adding that "it employs unparalleled visual splendor to show why men must make war to secure the peace and how warriors may find their true destiny as lovers." Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington called it "swooningly beautiful, furious and thrilling" and "an action movie for the ages. Charles Taylor of took an especially positive stance, deeming it "one of the most ravishing spectacles the movies have given us".

    What is "Xia" or "Wuxia"?
    Wuxia () is a broad genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms like Chinese opera, manhua (Chinese comics), films, television series, and video games. Wuxia is a component of popular culture for many Chinese-speaking communities worldwide.

    The word "wuxia" is a compound word composed of the words wu (), which means "martial", "military", or "armed" and xia (b), meaning "honorable", "chivalrous", or "hero". A martial artist who follows the code of Xia is often referred to as a xiake (b, lit: "follower of xia", "hiệp khách") or youxia (΂b, "wandering xia", "du hiệp"). In some translated works of wuxia, the martial artist is sometimes termed as a "swordsman" although he may not necessarily wield a sword.

    Typically, the heroes in Chinese wuxia fiction do not serve a lord, wield military power or belong to the aristocratic class. They are often from the lower social classes of ancient Chinese society. Wuxia heroes are usually bound by a code of chivalry that requires them to right wrongs, especially when the helpless or the poor are oppressed. The wuxia hero fights for righteousness and seeks to remove an oppressor, redress wrongs, or to bring retribution for past misdeeds. The Chinese xia traditions can be contrasted with martial codes from other countries, such as the Japanese samurai's bushido tradition, the chivalry of medieval European knights and the gunslingers of America's Westerns.

    About CCC's Film Club:
    The CCC Film Club is bi-weekly or monthly film meeting groups focusing on Chinese movies for the international community in Beijing. At the CCC's Film Club, participants are assigned a great film to watch and then asked to discuss its meanings with other film club members, using their own interpretations. All assigned films, a mix of classics and modern ones, are available at DVD shops. You are also welcome even though you may not have watched the movie yet. Just join our discussion!

  • CCC does not offer regular set packages for this class. However we are happy to help you plan a private custom-made one. Please scroll this web page down to check non-negotiable fixed prices and propose a date for your own group. Please note that we do not create a private class or workshop and then make it available for individual people to join. We also do not contact other people to add to a group tour. Similarly, we can create custom-made private activities or events for you and your family or friends or co-workers at set-prices.