An influential American cultural critic has argued that “Third-World texts, even those which are seemingly private and invested with a properly libidinal (Footnote: “libidinal” means having to do with the unconscious) dynamic — necessarily project a political dimension in the form of national allegory: the story of the private individual destiny is always an allegory of the embattled situation of the public third-world culture and society.” Yet some scholars have objected to these statements, arguing that many ‘Third World’ texts are not about the collective experience of the nation-state, but about individuals’ experience, i.e. how individuals in specific situations fare at a particular moment of history.
Do you think it is more productive or less so to read the film “Crows and Sparrows” as a national allegory? (You could conceivably want to read this film as an allegory of the nation but find it inadequate as an national allegory in one way or another. In other words, your option is more than binary.) Answer this question in no less than 300 words. REMEMBER: You need to address the question EXPLICITLY. A vague response to, summary or interpretation of the film that “kind of” speaks to this question won’t do!
Your answer must contain a good consideration of Three the following elements 1) characterization, individually or how disparate individual stories are stitched together to form a collective; 2)setting interior and exterior 3) sound and language, diegetic and extra-diegetic; 4)other elements of the film, such as lighting, camera angle, editing, etc.
Some hints: While it is easier to argue for reading this film as a national allegory, here are some possible arguments against reading this film as national allegory: 1)according to some people, the collectivity formed at the end of film does not resemble the image of the “people” of China; 2) some people complain that the “house” as a setting is too fictional and not convincing as a metaphor of the nation, or that fighting over the ownership of a house is too restrictive to represent the entire overhaul of old social structure, which is required for building a new China; 3)some people dislike some characters, such as Little Broadcast and his wife, considering them as less than a positive representation of the working class or the people (i.e., they are self-centered and participate in speculation; or they are capitalists, etc); 4) some people might argue that such a story is not uniquely “Chinese.” Similar scenarios have happened in other contexts, making this film not an allegory of China, even though it may be an allegory of the global working class.
Two footnotes: 1) “Third world” has many meanings. Let’s just say the term refers to developing nation-states, e.g. those in much of Asia, Latin America, and Africa, particularly those countries that have a colonial history, as opposed to the “developed nations” e.g. the U. S. or Western Europe; 2) Consult this page for a functional definition of allegory.
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