As a celebration of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October, the all-star epic “The Founding of a Republic” will be screened tomorrow, on 17 September. The film has stirred a heated discussion on the Internet – not for the film itself, but for the nationalities of the stars.
Some news reports in August said that among the 172 famous actors/actresses and directors involved in the film, 21 hold foreign nationalities.
Well-known mainland writer Han Han (韩寒) discussed this on his blog (8/12):
My personal opinion is that if a country can cause so many actors to change their nationality, this country has to bear certain responsibilities.
It is their personal choice to change their nationality. This is like divorce: perhaps their affection for the country has somehow disappeared, or perhaps they come across something better. We can criticize them from a certain moral stand, but there is nothing wrong with their personal character.
For normal Chinese citizens, that is, for those who cannot afford to eat well, to live well, to entertain, to make good connections, to bear children, to fall sick or to die, the key point is that they cannot afford to emigrate. Therefore, seeing all these actors fleeing the country, it is natural for them to be envious.
This blog entry has generated a staggering amount of replies. Some are very critical about it:
徐然 2009-08-12 04:56:26: 既然是外国人为什么不在外国发展，跑到中国来碍眼
If they are foreigners, why don’t they develop their career overseas but in China instead
Totiliy 2009-08-12 08:29:07: 这个名单还只是艺人，要把什么科学家等等的都列出来估计更震撼，不知道商人爱不爱换国籍，估计有能力的都愿意吧
The list only concerns artists. If we include scientists etc etc, the results may be more surprising. Wonder if businessmen like to be foreigners, I guess they would like to if they have the ability.
新浪网友 2009-09-10 08:32:04: … 居然可以让这样一群外国人演建国大业，说明国家相应的管理者既没有原则又没有自尊心，没皮没脸，连累着国家被人看低…
The fact that foreigners can participate in this film shows that the administrators do not have basic principles and dignity. As a result, China is being looked down upon by others.
There are also a variety of alternative, sometimes mocking, views:
新浪网友 2009-08-13 15:55:58: 外国明星,演中国电影,而且是<建国大业>,辛苦他们了.人家千里迢迢来为我们国家拍<建国大业>,我们中国人要感谢他们啊.
Foreign stars participating in a Chinese movie, especially “The Founding of a Republic”, have came a long way to make this film for us, we, Chinese, should thank them for their hard work.
妮娜 2009-08-27 16:58:07: … 不要太极端了。入籍并不是卖国投敌。明星回来拍的是中国电影，参加世界影展代表中国，是为祖国作贡献…
… Don’t be too extreme. Having a foreign nationality is not betraying our country. They are returning to make films for China, to represent China in international film festivals. They are contributing to China…
飞翔 2009-09-03 12:57:59: 不是不爱这个国家，只是不爱这个制度！
It’s not that we don’t love this country, we just don’t love its system!
春雪 2009-09-09 21:17:01: 我们无权力去责备批评别人，每个人都会有不同的选择，拥有他国之籍并非不热爱吴中华之民族
We do not have the right to criticize others. Each person has its own choice. Having a foreign nationality does not mean that they do not love the Chinese race.