I chose to watch IP Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster. A few years ago, I watched the first IP Man and found it to be an entertaining film with a great story and really well produced. The film was directed by Wilson Yip and stars Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung and is based (loosely) on a true story. The Ip Man was a martial arts teacher who specialized in Wing Chun (a form of Kung Fu) and is best known for being the teacher of Bruce Lee.
The story begins with a struggling, yet very talented Wing Chun master. Ip is a virtuous man who is not concerned with money, but with teaching youth Kung Fu. Early in the film, there is a man who stole a duck and was eating it with his hands and was apparently dealing with some brain complications that came from a bullet he took to the head from the Japanese. I found this interesting because it highlighted the tension between the Chinese and the Japanese. The film revolves around some central themes in Chinese culture that include honor, respect for elders, and the importance of family. Many of the tensions that arise in the story stem from the deviation from these cultural norms.
When watching the film, it is apparent that there is a convergence of cultures (western and traditional Chinese) in the clothing. The set helps the student realize the differences between a generic Chinese city and a generic American city. The martial arts that are shown in the film have been used in American films for a long time and it shows the influence of Chinese culture in American society. Later in the film there is a British fighter who emerges and shows a blatant disrespect for the Chinese people in the film. There are other British figures shown throughout the film and their treatment of the Chinese is no better. This can show the treatment by the imperialist British in Hong Kong. Overall, this film provides an entertaining way for students to experience Chinese culture and I would use it later in the unit and ask the students to pick out themes that we have studied as they are watching.