Search engine for discovering works of Art, research articles, and books related to Art and Culture
ShareThis
Javascript must be enabled to continue!

The imagination of eco-disaster: Post-disaster rebuilding in Asian cinema

View through CrossRef
Commercial films today often reduce representations of natural catastrophes to commodified spectacles that de-contextualize the subject matter. To contemporary film viewers, the ‘psychic numbing’ effect is apparent, and it does not apply merely to our perception of numbers, statistics, the big data. It can also be seen when we are bombarded with similar kinds of images over and over again; in this case, the large-scale tsunami, the hurricanes, the earthquake and all the exaggerated destruction scenes in recent disaster movies have become clichés no matter how realistic and intense the shots are made. By focusing on a range of eco-disaster films, this article highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity in the study of eco-disaster films, by exploring several questions: how are eco-disasters culturally shaped and defined, via cinematic means? How are human responses to disasters, as reflected in cinematic representations, shaped by specific sociopolitical, cultural or economic conditions? How does cinema as a media form represent ecological concepts that are shared globally or universally, while at the same time reflecting specific cultural characteristics? Juxtaposing examples from China, Thailand and the Phillippines, particularly with three films: Wonderful Town (Thailand, 2007), Aftershock (China, 2010) and Taklub (Phillippines, 2015), this article demonstrates how Asian eco-disaster films in the Anthropocene epoch reflect specific cultural imaginations of nation and identity rebuilding, which in turn provide a ground to reposition, redefine and reinvent the changing cultural identities in contemporary Asia. Eventually, it argues that eco-disaster narratives in Asia reflect the identity crisis of Asian nations in a global capitalist world, just as much as they are about ecological crises.
Title: The imagination of eco-disaster: Post-disaster rebuilding in Asian cinema
Description:
Commercial films today often reduce representations of natural catastrophes to commodified spectacles that de-contextualize the subject matter.
To contemporary film viewers, the ‘psychic numbing’ effect is apparent, and it does not apply merely to our perception of numbers, statistics, the big data.
It can also be seen when we are bombarded with similar kinds of images over and over again; in this case, the large-scale tsunami, the hurricanes, the earthquake and all the exaggerated destruction scenes in recent disaster movies have become clichés no matter how realistic and intense the shots are made.
By focusing on a range of eco-disaster films, this article highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity in the study of eco-disaster films, by exploring several questions: how are eco-disasters culturally shaped and defined, via cinematic means? How are human responses to disasters, as reflected in cinematic representations, shaped by specific sociopolitical, cultural or economic conditions? How does cinema as a media form represent ecological concepts that are shared globally or universally, while at the same time reflecting specific cultural characteristics? Juxtaposing examples from China, Thailand and the Phillippines, particularly with three films: Wonderful Town (Thailand, 2007), Aftershock (China, 2010) and Taklub (Phillippines, 2015), this article demonstrates how Asian eco-disaster films in the Anthropocene epoch reflect specific cultural imaginations of nation and identity rebuilding, which in turn provide a ground to reposition, redefine and reinvent the changing cultural identities in contemporary Asia.
Eventually, it argues that eco-disaster narratives in Asia reflect the identity crisis of Asian nations in a global capitalist world, just as much as they are about ecological crises.

Related Results

Development of a support system for creating disaster prevention maps focusing on road networks and hazardous elements
Development of a support system for creating disaster prevention maps focusing on road networks and hazardous elements
AbstractAs a disaster prevention measure based on self-assistance and mutual assistance, disaster prevention maps are being created with citizen participation throughout Japan. The...
The Eco-space and Female Agency in Bole Butake’s Lake God
The Eco-space and Female Agency in Bole Butake’s Lake God
Abstract The ever-increasing environmental crises and the subsequent decay of the earth is a veritable call for concern which has stimulated man’s consciousness vis-à-vis his own v...
From Chinese independent cinema to art cinema: Convergence and divergence
From Chinese independent cinema to art cinema: Convergence and divergence
With the decline of Chinese independent cinema, art cinema has grown at a fast pace since the mid-2010s in China. There has been a convergence as well as a divergence of independen...
Faroese cinema and transnational nation-building
Faroese cinema and transnational nation-building
In addition to providing a brief history of Faroese cinema in a broad perspective, this article examines the juxtaposition of the transnationalism of Nordic cinema and what could b...
The Struggle for History: Lindsay Anderson Teaches Free Cinema
The Struggle for History: Lindsay Anderson Teaches Free Cinema
In spring 1986, Lindsay Anderson appeared in a television programme on British cinema. This was part of a series of three under the heading British Cinema: Personal View, produced ...
Literature and lustration: Rebuilding social trust through literature
Literature and lustration: Rebuilding social trust through literature
How do nations, communities and individuals seek to restore individual meaning, social justice and social trust in the wake of traumatic histories? While international legal models...
Choisir de choisir — croire en ce monde
Choisir de choisir — croire en ce monde
In the philosophy of Pascal and Kierkegaard and the cinema of Bresson and Dreyer, Deleuze finds “a strange thought,” an “extreme moralism that opposes the moral,” and a “faith that...
The Origin, Practice and Meaning of the Free Cinema Manifesto
The Origin, Practice and Meaning of the Free Cinema Manifesto
In the late 1940s, the independent film quarterly Sequence, which championed a personal, committed cinema, stood for an attitude towards film-making that provided an important basi...

Back to Top