I really enjoyed this film even though it took me four nights to watch it. It was not an attention grabber but highly educational for me because up to now, I just thought about Confucius in real simple stereotypes — albeit ‘educated’ stereotypes — as the guy who:
- made “Confucianism”
- opposed cool “Taoism”
- taught civility and obedience to your parents and your rulers.
So, this movie, broadened all those simple misunderstandings of mine. But it is a Chinese film, written for Chinese viewers and thus packed with historical names that went right over my head, so I had to keep stopping the film and reading Wiki articles to begin making sense of the movie. Not to mention, you won’t like it if you hate reading subtitles or you get frustrated because you can’t tell one Chinese guy from the next. 🙂
All that aside — I recommend it to the precious few of you who share my interests. I learned much Chinese history, thought about the complexity of compromise in ideologies, and wondered about how ideas transform over time. Though I doubt any Evangelical or conservative Christians would ever watch this sort of film, it is sad for me to think that if they did, how they would miss so much of it with their filters on. Indeed, that was one of the great joys for me after leaving my flavor of Christianity — all of a sudden, the world became fuller, richer and deeply fascinating. I felt like part of humanity again! This film made Confucius more real to me in the same way these films enlivened Ghangis Khan and Lawrence of Arabia.