Last month, on 18th January, the British Film Institute (BFI) at Southbank hosted their annual study day for KS3 Mandarin students. The event entitled “Myths Culture and Modernity in Chinese Cinema” aimed at helping students learn the language and culture through the use of Chinese films. IOE CI National Network Coordinator, Xiaoming Zhu co-presented the day with Dr. Carol-Mei Barker from the BFI.
The two hour workshop in the morning consisted of talks focused on cultural symbols and character analysis, which enabled the students to look at films from various perspectives and raise their awareness of the different Chinese films reflecting ancient and contemporary China. The workshop also offered opportunities for the students to engage in various language activities, including using cinematic key words in Mandarin to describe their opinion about a film, matching the Chinese sentences to the screen shots, and completing and demonstrating a dialogue in Mandarin to reconstruct a scene. Each of the students was provided a pack containing useful resources and material for them to work on during and after the event.
The films featured in the workshop were:
卧虎藏龙Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Dir Ang Lee, 2000),
满城尽带黄金甲Curse of the Golden Flower (Dir Zhang Yimou, 2007)
一个都不能少Not One Less (Dir Zhang Yimou, 1999)
钢的琴The Piano in a Factory (Dir Zhang Meng, 2010)
世界The World (Dir Jia Zhangke, 2005)
In the afternoon, the students were shown the full film of Hero (英雄) which was directed by Zhang Yimou in 2002.
Over four hundred students and their teachers from schools in London and other parts of England participated in the event and the feedback was very positive.