China Beat Archive


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August 9, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright August 9, 2008 Paola Voci. Used by permission.


And so it was. All as expected; all that is indeed the stereotypical China: the long civilization, the characters, the Confucian traditions, the big inventions, the huge number of people, and of course the fireworks. Zhang Yimou copied and pasted it all together so that the audience—both “them” and “us”—could safely enjoy familiar images, saturated with spectacular effects.

And there I was watching it all on TV like billions of others, an Italian “sinologist” turned into a Chinese film and media researcher in the USA, who ultimately landed in New Zealand five years ago to teach about China in Dunedin, at the very bottom of Aotearoa’s South Island.

China and the Olympics have not been particularly big in the Kiwi news—only theNew Zealand Herald and the Dominion Press have put it on the front page as the main event today. But of course, yesterday night TVONE had to cover it all and from 9:30 pm until 4:30 am New Zealand turned its attention to China as “she was taking over the world stage” (as one of the commentators, the Chinese-born Sophie Zhang, mentioned).