Zhang Yimou accepts Boston uni honor, says Chinese movies' influence limited

World | 21 May 2018 2:08 pm

Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou on Sunday was greeted with cheers and applause of an enthusiastic crowd after he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Boston University at its 145th Commencement.

"It's my greatest honor to present Zhang Yimou for the Boston University honorary degree," said Boston University President Robert Brown at the 2018 commencement.

Zhang Yimou's films "offer not only a perspective on the people and culture of China, but also a window into the universal qualities of human nature and yearning," he told about 7,000 graduating students and their parents.

"I'm honored. This is a recognition of my work and creation personally, and moreover, it demonstrates the big influence of films which can be seen as the visiting card of a country," the director told Xinhua on Sunday.

Other honorary degree recipients were commencement speaker and civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, Doctor of Laws; San Juan, P.R., mayor and activist Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto (CAS’84), who will be the baccalaureate speaker, Doctor of Laws; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony S. Fauci, Doctor of Science; and filmmaker and journalist Vibha Bakshi (COM’93,’96), Doctor of Humane Letters.

In an interview through a translator, Zhang told the university that Asian films are "rather weak.''

"Asian movies should definitely continue to develop and expand their influence,” Zhang says. "Compared with those in the United States and Europe, they are still rather weak.” Although China has one of the world’s top movie industries, "its influence is still limited,” he says, in terms of audience and productions.

Zhang has said that he watches two movies a day, but he can no longer maintain that schedule, he says. Among the films he’s watched recently are Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, and All the Money in the World.-Xinhua/The Standard

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