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Have you seen grandfather?

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见过大爷 (Jiàn guò Dàyé?): Have you seen grandfather?

This is a parody of the title of a nationalistic movie called “The Founding of a Republic” (建国大业 Jiànguó Dàyè). Made by the state-owned China Film Group for the 60th Anniversary of the PRC, the film tells the story of the nation’s founding (An English preview of the movie can be seen on YouTube. Starring an all-star cast and including many high-profile cameos (including Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Zhang Ziyi), the film met commercial success, taking in USD$62.5 million at the box office.

Influential Chinese blogger Han Han had this to say about the film (translation by Global Voices):


I am highly suspicious that the director is employing irony in his method. Take for example that scene when those founding generals uproariously sang L’Internationale, and when Mao Zedong said, we should be forever united. (At that moment) I sensed this movie’s real potential to become a true classic: if it did not end in 1949, but rather in 1976! In 1949, the sincere people sincerely embraced the sincere Mao Zedong and the sincere New China. Yet, after 60 years, the people still do not own even a single meter of their own land. We are all no more than tenants. Before, our ‘old society’ was composed of many classes. Now it is much simpler, there are only four: the poor, the housing slave, the rich and the obscenely rich.

从另外一方面来讲,建国大业是一部爱情文艺片,它委婉的讲述了穷小子追求富家女的故事,当时的共产党就是穷小子,新中国是待嫁的富家女,国民党是订了婚的情敌,各民主党派和社会名流是富家女的朋友,穷小子成功的秘诀就是一开始要有理想,谈未来,许承诺,拉拢朋友,乱开空头支票,当然,会打架是排在第一位的。最终终于成功的娶了新中国。当然婚后的生活就和在座的各位当年花言巧语的男同志们的婚后生活差不多。 你们泡妞时的承诺都做到了吗?

In another sense, The Founding of a Republic is like a love story. It artistically recounts the story of an impoverished boy who was pursuing a rich family’s daughter. The Communist Party was the poor boy, the New China is the daughter waiting to be married, the KMT is the fiancé and all those democratic parties and independents are the daughter’s friends. The boy’s secret to success is to have dreams, brag about future, relentlessly network and make many empty promises. Of course, being unafraid to fight is the most important of all. At last, he successfully married the New China. Apparently, the life after this marriage is not much different than the life after your marriage. Have you met your promises you made when you were dating?