Today’s news is that the Olympic torch has arrived in Xinjiang province. As widely reported in the Western press, the Xinjiang government encouraged people to watch at home on TV due to security concerns. In addition to schools and offices that organized groups to support the torch, many private Chinese still chose to come on the streets. Tianya has reports from some excited eyewitnesses.
In honor of the torch’s visit to Xinjiang, let me introduce a domestic movie that combines three of our favorite topics: football, Olympics, and minorities! Maimaiti’s 2008 is a movie about a group of kids in Turfan, on the edge of the Taklamakan desert. In order to inspire them, their young football coach Maimaiti tells them a little lie: a win in the district finals will translate into a visit to the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
Here’s the trailer:
The director and primary actors in the movie are all Uygur. There’s a long history of government-sponsorship for minorities in art and literature, and this is just the latest example. Both the director and male lead are graduates of China’s leading film institutes in Beijing. The director is a member of the “5th generation” of film directors, same schooling and background as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, etc, etc.
Chinese fans in general gave the movie decent reviews. How does the Uygur community specifically feel about it? Well, it’s a hot topic of discussion on this soccer discussion site… but I have no idea what they’re saying. Like many other websites in Xinjiang, it’s exclusively in Uygur.