Towards Reconciliation ：A Case Study of Mu Ma Ren
Title：Towards Reconciliation ：A Case Study of Mu Ma Ren——A Cultural Analysis of the Relationship Representation of “Labor” and “Knowledge” at the Beginning of the New Period
YUAN Jian ( 袁剑 )
Master 2016 Thesis
Foucault said, the film is a kind of device which codes "collective memory". When new media like the network popularizes, today's people seeing the films in the past, in a certain sense, is a process of "self-writing” historical memory. Therefore, there presents a particularly rich relationship between films and history. The times which story happened, the times of telling the story, and the times people listen or watch the story, they constitute a complex structural relationship between history and reality. Taking Xie Jin's film Mu Ma Ren as an example, started with the analysis of the text interpretation, this dissertation analyzes its political-historical implications, and explains the relationship between the film Mu Ma Ren and intellectuals’ labor reconstructing movement in the history of New China, the early in the new period of history and politics.
New China, at the beginning, was going to establish new politics and economy, and also wanted to build new culture. To establish new culture, intellectuals would play an important role. However, quite a few of intellectuals were born in the landlord class or the bourgeoisie family in old China. According to the Marxism and the Chinese Communist Party’s understanding of socialism, the country should reconstruct these old intellectuals. On the other hand, New China attempted to establish working people's political and historical subject status, and empower them to hold the social status and political power as the host of the country. However, because of the practical complexity, especially the radical politics influenced, the labor reconstruction movement caused intellectuals both physical and mental illness. Today, in face of more and more obvious intellectuals specialization, there is doubtless necessity to understand the relationship between intellectuals and working people, and to rethink the relationship between "knowledge" and "labor".
Based on this, this dissertation takes the relationship representation of "knowledge" and "labor" as the clue to interpret cultural implications of Mu Ma Ren. This dissertation analyzes four significant moments in the life of the film’s hero Xu Lingjun. The first moment, when Xu Lingjun was ordered to do physical labor in the pasture, he experienced from despair to living again, the most important motivation laid on his identification of New China; the second moment, Xu Lingjun had very deep impression of the good humanity and material concept of the working people such as Guo Piazi and his wife, Dong Daye and his wife, and Xu Lingjun’s wife Li Xiuzhi; the third moment, when Xu Lingjun was rehabilitated as national teacher, he saw the working people's highly strong need for knowledge; the fourth moment, Xu Lingjun goes to the capital Beijing to see his father Xu Jingyou who abandoned him when New China established and then left for America, Xu Lingjun refuses to go abroad for settlement with his father because he does have a profound feeling of love to working people and the country, and he has already consciously placed himself in the middle of the working people.