Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim continues to dominate the Chinese box office, but more importantly, it continues to dominate the Chinese psyche with its pro-American propaganda—a Western plot that might have escaped attention, were it not for one, brave Chinese military officer who certainly knows propaganda when he sees it somewhere else. Writing in the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the preferred paper of China’s military and fans of Family Too Busy Serving To Attend Circus, Zhang Jeili sneers that “Hollywood has always been the best American propaganda machine” through its deliberate promotion of American values that meet the strict approval of China’s government censors and don’t run the risk of offending the nation’s investors.
In the case of Pacific Rim, Zhang argues, that propaganda literally becomes a machine, as it asserts America’s continued worldwide dominance in piloting big-ass robots.”The decisive battle against the monsters was deliberately set in South China Sea adjacent to Hong Kong. The intention was to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific area and saving the mankind,” said Zhang, commander of subtext, of the scene where giant robots punch big sea monsters in the face. Furthermore, while the American characters carry out their insidious plan to earn the world’s respect by not allowing it to be destroyed by underwater aliens, Zhang writes that “the Chinese are depicted as harvesting their bodies for food and trinkets,” rather than for their far more traditional medicinal properties.
Of course—while the U.S. government certainly made a concerted effort to mask its intentions by hiring a Mexican director to shoot its propaganda film in Toronto, filling its principal cast with Chinese, Japanese, British, Russian, and Australian characters (and casting a British person as its American hero), and having del Toro give interviews like this one where he pretends as though Pacific Rim is actually a rejoinder to movies about “one race, one credo, and one country saving the world”—our cover-up has fallen away, like the protective scales surrounding the precious monster bladder, whose bile reduces fever and increases virility. It’s been exposed like the two other films that Zhang specifically calls out as “pushing American values and global strategies,” the James Bond series and Ice Age, which reinforce the American values of also being British, and our global strategy of claiming all the world’s acorns for ourselves.
“Soldiers should sharpen their eyes and enforce a ‘firewall’ to avoid ideological erosion when watching American movies,” Zhang warns of China’s need to be wary of entertainment promoting the dominance of a nation that isn’t China. Still, as Pacific Rim reminds the world, a wall is certainly no match for America’s big-ass robots. Just wait, fellow Americans: Two more weeks atop the box office and the Not-As-Great-As-American-Big-Ass-Robots Wall Of China is what they’ll be calling it.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]