Love For Life: A Commercial Hit and An AIDS Romance

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Abstract

The Chinese mainland director Gu Changwei"s movie Love for Life (Zuiai 2011) is an emotionally touching and politically sensitive story about a group of AIDS patients. During the past decade there have been a number of mainland produced films and TV serials that have dealt with this theme. Amongst recent mainland productions focusing on AIDS, Gu Changwei"s Love for Life in particular brought attention to the AIDS problem in Chinese society by employing several means. First, the film created a virtual public space for people to see, consider and discuss the topic which has long been viewed as scourge and shunned by the general public. This ostracism has meant that AIDS infected people become victims of public apathy and outsiders of Chinese society. Second, Love for Life serves as a good example of the recent commercializing trend of sombre topics and serious themes in mainland Chinese film industry. Third, in Chinese society AIDS is usually viewed as a moral issue, and AIDS infected patients have long been discriminated against as they are seen as immoral. In contrast to this established view, Gu Changwei attributes the disease"s primary cause to blood transfusions in his film, removing social bias which has shackled AIDS infected people for so long. Fourth and finally, in Love for Life, morality is no longer used as a major criterion to gauge the behaviour of the AIDS infected people, on the contrary, through their unique situation in the AIDS camp, morality itself is re-examined and re-shaped
Original languageEnglish
Article number146140751
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalCineforum
Volume19
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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