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The Indian film ‘Dangal’ is red hot in China

2 min read
Dangal poster in China

The Chinese box office of the Indian film ‘Dangal’, which is based on a true story about how a father trained his daughter to succeed as a medal winning wrestler, has since 5 May 2017 recorded a wonderful USD179.8 million (still in release).

The Chinese wonders include:

[1] It outran the film’s domestic US$84.4 million gross revenue and pushed its worldwide total to US$301 million, thus becoming the 5th highest gross non-English movie ever.

[2] It is the highest box office record for all non-Western foreign movies in China.

[3] First and only Indian film to gross over US$150 million in a single territory (China).

[4] The leggiest one in China’s history of showing non-Chinese films.

[5] As a member of the one billion China Yuan films club, it has the most consecutive number of on-screen days on mainland.

Although President Modi refused to participate into China’s One Belt One Road Forum in May 2017 and some Indian analysts criticized China’s investment in Pakistan as “colonization’, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Modi at the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Kazakhstan that, “I like watching Dangal”. Most Indian press and mass media cheered this conversation as their headlines.

The film’s story stirs up feelings toward poverty, gender inequality, education, nationalism and etc. China and India both are developing countries and therefore face many similar problems. It is why it is the Chinese ordinary people, not the Americans, who are able to understand Indians’ hardship of struggling in this real world and willing to share their tears.

It is not easy to solve the triangular political and ethnic problems among India, China and Pakistan, especially when many Indian intellectuals are still educated under heavy British and American influence. Nevertheless, through more cultural and economic exchanges, it is always my belief that, both India and China would become Asian powers together through healthy competition as well as constructive co-operation. It takes long time for the Indian intellectuals to know eventually that there is an alternative to the Western way. Fortunately, China under the Helmsman Ruler (rotational political succession) system is patient enough to wait for this day to come.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Tony Simon

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