This source examines the relationship of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s Kung-Fu movies. The article first analyzes Bruce Lee’s films which reflect racial politics, specifically colonialism and nationalism, in Hong Kong. His Kung-Fu tragedy reiterates the resentment of Hong Kong citizens towards the British colonial rule. It also focuses on Chinese nationalism, targeted against the Japanese after World War II. Following the death of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan redefined and established his own Kung-Fu style with comedy. His work avoided controversial topics and represented “the humane aspect of Kung-Fu”.
This source focuses on the subject of Kung-Fu movies, its relationship to Hong Kong history, and how individuals are able to use these films to support their views. For example, Jackie Chan’s use of Kung-Fu movies was not to raise awareness and provoke social issues, but to provide comedic entertainment. In addition, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan used their work to strike down false Asian stereotypes about male masculinity. As indicated, both Lee and Chan utilized film to support their views on Chinese society. Chan’s use of comedy in his movies led to greater popularity and success but also resulted in Asian stereotyping in Western society. His character in Rush Hour was portrayed as a stereotypical Chinese man who spoke broken English. This encouraged racism while also strengthening pre-established stereotypes about the Chinese. It’s important to address this issue because it currently affects the lives of Chinese immigrants around the world. In today’s society, racism and stereotyping continue to be used as comedic content causing significant societal issues. Personally, I believe that comedic performances that objectify one’s culture or identity is wrong even for the sake of entertainment. Although, some may take the comedic act lightly, other individuals may be affected mentally and emotionally.
This information helped me understand the Chinese experiences during the British Colonial Rule. Bruce Lee’s work connects the lives of Chinese through colonialism and nationalism. He relates to the people of Hong Kong who don’t associate themselves with mainland China or the British colony; leaving them lost between the two. Lee and Chan’s works were also linked to the idea of Chinese stereotypes and how they use their movies to overcome these negative associations. During the early 1970s, there was a common stereotype in Western society that Asian males were weak and more feminine. Lee’s work “redefined Asian masculinity” through the use martial arts, representing power and aggressiveness. Chan, on the other hand, used different styles and techniques to achieve the masculine image. Instead of using violence, he completed every stunt in his movies without special effects; putting himself at risk to re-define the image of Asian men. This represented the racism against Hong Kong Chinese during the British Colonial rule.
As opposed to the other sources, this article takes two subjects (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan) and analyzes their similarities and differences to help the reader understand the context of Chinese Kung-Fu films. This source makes the connection between racism and stereotyping of Chinese individuals to Western Culture. Similarly, in this source, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan used their films as a way to overcome the male stereotype of being weak and “feminine”.
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