As opposed to Zhang Yimou’s 张艺谋 much-criticized film Hero《英雄》(2002), which addresses the relationship between culture and political power, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles《千里走单骑》 (2005) asks the question of whether, under the conditions of globalization, any performance between cultures can contain truth value, be authentic, or represent something real. Although a key scene acted by Japanese star Ken Takakura effectively expresses his true despair and thus seems to indicate a positive response, Zhang Yimou persistently inserts into the film queries about the validity of performance across cultural and linguistic borders, and the complex trail of conflicting desires that motivate it. Riding Alone is one example of Zhang's complex filmic investigation into the relationship between culture and political power under the developing conditions of a border-crossing global world.
How to CiteLarson, W., 2012. Chinese Culture on the Global Stage: Zhang Yimou and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 20(1), pp.3–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.77