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My Kingdom

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My Kingdom

My Kingdom, originally ”Da wu sheng”, was released in 2011 and directed by Xiaosong Gao. This Chinese movie is set in Shanghi around the 1920’s. The beginning of the movie shows the Prince Regent of the Qing Dynasty following through on the orders to the mass execution of the entire Meng clan. One boy is saved because he sings a song as his little sister is beheaded. A famous opera master and his young protégé (a boy around the same age) see his potential and take him back to the opera house to train.

I would use this movie in my classroom after reading “Hamlet.” As I was watching the movie, I realized that it is a Chinese take on Shakespeare’s play. It would be an interesting assignment to have my Chinese students compare and contrast the major themes—revenge, treachery, and moral corruption. How do the different cultures portray these themes and what messages are they trying to convey to their audiences? This is also a great example of how timeless and universe Shakespeare’s plays are that the themes can be related to across cultures and time periods.
edited by lchisholm on 8/31/2013