MAO'S LAST DANCER

BY CLAUDIA FINOCCHIARO

MAO'S LAST DANCER

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The movie Mao’s Last Dancer was created in 2009 by director Bruce Beresford and is based on a true story of a young Chinese born performer on his journey to overcome challenges so that he is able to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional dancer. The director, Bruce Beresford uses in the movie techniques, effects and themes to help the audience to connect to Li’s difficulties.

ONE CHALLENGE THAT LI FACES IS

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Li is put in the position where he has to make a decision on whether he wants to continue his journey of becoming a professional dancer or give up his dream and go back to China with his family. This is shown in the scene where Li is at the Chinese embassy where the consul Zhang asks Li...... "I have been instructed to ask you one more time... Will you go back?" and then Li responds "I hope one day you will forgive me but my decision is the same" consul Zhang then responds "You now have the Chinese government's permission to stay in America. I regret that China has lost one of it's sons, however, you are alone now, without a country.... and it's people, you will never be allowed back to China."


The director in this scene shows how Li's eyes are sad, scared, overwhelmed, confused and shocked to hear consul Zhang tell him that he is never allowed to return to China. The conclusion of this scenario is that he has to live with the fact of confronting the future alone.

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ANOTHER CHALLENGE THAT LI FACES IS....

Li's journey of building up his reputation as a Chinese dancer all started when he was 11 years old and his teacher pointed to him and said "What about that one?"

The director in this scene emphasises the big picture ahead.

From then onwards he was determined to make his family proud. Li was told that he was weak and needs to keep practising therefore Li was determined to do it for his family.


Li's determination lead him to become a professional dancer thanks to the Houston Ballet Academy for giving him the opportunity to fulfil his dream.

RELEVANCE IN TODAYS SOCIETY

The issues in Mao's Last Dancer relates to today's society because people around the world are experiencing no work and there are no opportunities left in their homeland so they have no choice but to leave and seek other opportunities elsewhere. At present my father's cousin left his family and home to start a new life here in Australia, he holds a degree and there is no work or future for him in Italy.


People leave their countries to follow their career path to make a future.

In order for people to follow their dreams they have to close one door in order to open another one, In saying this they face challenges, conflicts, heartache and cultural differences.