A Letter to My Future Children: Reflections on the Chinese Diaspora

My name is Hsin-Mu Morris Chen, and I am a Taiwanese American. My family is scattered around the world in search of better opportunities in terms of work and education. These are some of the reasons why people around the world leave their home country, with or without hopes of ever returning. In a broader […]

Through the Looking Glass: Films As a Means to Understand Culture

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Introduction: For my project, I was paired with Cindy Shuang, a sophomore English major at Beijing Normal University. When we first talked, she was very interested in watching films about relationships between older and younger generations, and she recommended the Chinese film We Will Meet in Heaven, a story about a young girl’s relationship with […]

Screens into Different Cultures: Infernal Affairs and The Departed

Disclaimer: This is the solo initiative of an American student who was unable to establish contact with her Chinese partner.   Why Infernal Affairs and The Departed? I selected these two films because The Departed (2006) is a Hollywood adaptation of the wildly successful Infernal Affairs (2002). As such, I thought it would be interesting […]

The Intimacy of Touch


When working with my two project partners from China, Vicky and Jolie, three things were made absolutely apparent. First, that they were more than ecstatic at discovering that, despite my name, I was a girl. Second, the reason they were happy I was a girl was because they wanted to focus on romance for the […]

Cultural Understanding through Differing Modes of Expression

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       I was partnered with a Chinese student from Beijing Normal University for a project for cross-cultural understanding through film.  Yao Xueying, preferring to be called Emily, and I explored each other’s culture through these two films. We held our conversations through Skype video chat.      Specifically, we found both similarities and […]

Unintended Altruists: Comparable Portrayals in Western and Eastern Film.


Introduction For this final project I was assigned to work with Wang Xiaoming, a sophomore at Beijing Normal University, where we would engage in several skype calls to discuss shared interests and to decide on two movies, one a Chinese film, and the other an American film.  After discussing potential themes to try and select […]

Femme Fatale: Women, Violence, and Cinema

Films:  Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Directed by Ang Lee Starring Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon covers the storylines of two characters as they intersect in Beijing. Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) seeks to give up his life adventuring in the JiangHu and settle down with his long-time friend […]

Perception: The Lens to identity

Introduction  Over the course of a three week period, I along with a Chinese student named Gloria were tasked with exploring two films native to our culture that shared similar themes. During our first conversation,  we decided  to pursue the theme “Coming of Age”, as we both seemed to have a mutual knowledge of films […]

Heroes in Film & The Cross-Cultural Experience


Introduction Over the course of the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to exchange conversations via Skype with Jane Chai and Yang Mei, two students studying English at the Beijing Normal University.  During our first conversation, we got to know each other a little better and discussed our interests, favorite films as children (we […]

A New way of Thinking Kungfu Panda : Orientalism


It is quite amazing when you think of how technology has changed everything. Even though I’ve never met Jia Li in real life, during the few hours that we spent over Skype has been fun and interesting. When I first had a conversation with her it was a mixed feeling. While I like to talk […]