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Ang Lee's Film: Pushing Hands 父亲三部曲之一《推手》

Pushing Hands is a film directed by Ang Lee.Actually, it is a name for two-person training routines practiced in internal Chinese martial artsin Chinese,we say 推手(tuī shǒu) in Chinese. Released in 1992, it was Lee’s first feature film. Together with Ang Lee’s two following films, The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), it forms his “Father Knows Best” trilogy, each of which deals with conflicts between an older and more traditional generation and their children as they confront a world of change.
The story is about an elderly Chinese t’ai chi ch’uan teacher and grandfather who emigrates from Beijing to live with his son, American daughter-in-law, and grandson in a New York City suburb. The grandfather is increasingly distanced from the family as a “fish out of water” in Western culture. The film shows the contrast between traditional Chinese ideas of Confucian relationships within a family and the much more informal Western emphasis on the individual. The friction in the family caused by these differing expectations eventually leads to the grandfather moving out of the family home (something very alien to traditional expectations), and in the process he learns lessons (some comical, some poignant) about how he must adapt to his new surroundings before he comes to terms with his new life.
The title of the film refers to the pushing hands training that is part of the grandfather’s t’ai chi routine. Pushing hands is a two person training which teaches t’ai chi students to yield in the face of brute force. T’ai chi ch’uan teachers were persecuted in China during the Cultural Revolution, and the grandfather’s family was broken up as a result. He sent his son to the West several years earlier and when he could he came to live with his family with the expectation of picking up where they left off, but he was unprepared for the very different atmosphere of the West. “Pushing Hands” thereby alludes to the process of adaptation to culture shock felt by a traditional teacher in moving to the United States.
Pushing Hands (1992) was a success in Taiwan both among critics and at the box office. It received eight nominations in the Golden Horse Film Festival, Taiwan’s premier film festival.


A Dialogue in China Town of New York

Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ: Chén Tàitɑi!
Sir Zhu: Madam Chen!


Chén lǎo Tàitɑi: Nǐ zěnme chūlái le?
Madam Chen: What’s up!


Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ: Wǒ chūlái kàn nín zǒu le méiyǒu?
Sir Zhu: I just come out and check out whether you live or not.


Chén lǎo Tàitɑi: Wǒ kàn jīntiān tàiyánɡ zhème hǎo, fǎnzhènɡ yí ɡè rén, huíqù yě hǎo, bù huíqù yě hǎo, xiǎnɡ zhe xiǎnɡ zhe, zhàn zài zhè’ér jiù fā qǐ dāi le.
Madam Chen: Seeing such fine weather, and I’m alone at home and outside. I prefer to stand here as if in a trance.


Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ:Nín zhù nǎ?
Sir Zhu: Where do you live?


Chén lǎo Tàitɑi: wǒ jiù zhù nà biɑn 168 hào fánɡ
Madam Chen: I live in room 168 over there.


Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ: Wǒ zhù zài nà dònɡ 2101.
Sir Zhu: I live that house, number 2101.


Chén lǎo Tàitɑi: èn…Yǒukōnɡ ɡuòlái zuòzuò mɑ!
Madam Chen: Come and see me if you have any time.


Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ: Xiàwǔ yǒu shì mɑ?
Sir Zhu: Will you be free afternoon?


Chén lǎo Tàitɑi: èn…méishì…
Madam Chen: I’m free this afternoon.


Zhū lǎo Xiānshenɡ: Méishì … Méishì …
Sir Zhu: Me, too.
未经允许不得转载:STUDY IN CHINA GLOBAL (SCG) » Ang Lee's Film: Pushing Hands 父亲三部曲之一《推手》
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