Montaldo's Marco Polo: Analysis Of Chinese Stereotypes

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2.2.2 Analysis of Chinese stereotypes
It is usually hard to avoid stereotypes in any representation of China or Chinese people in Western film. As argued in Part 1 of this thesis, stereotype is necessary in representation of the “Other” because we need ordered, fixed and simplified information for things we are not familiar with; we want to exclude things that are different to free ourselves from anxiety; it is always inequalities of power behind stereotypes.
In Marco Polo themed films, there are many Chinese characters appear when Marco Polo travelled to China. However, the character Marco Polo in both films does not see Chinese people as stereotypes. In Montaldo’s Marco Polo, Marco observes many differences among different locations and he has been along with people he has seen, and remembers their customs, beliefs, practices, way of teaching, etc. He
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There is no simplified, fixed image of the East for Marco, but much information in details. Moreover, he does not despise Prince Jingim because of his weakness and illness, but cares for him and tries to help him when he is suffered from epilepsy while doing archery. Rather than seeing Jingim as a stereotype such as “a Mongol”, “a Prince” or “a weak man”, he sees him as a precious friend, the first friend he has made in China. It also fits what Lippmann argues about exceptions of stereotype: Instead of a short cut, when we face our friends, we need an individualized understanding. Marco and Jingim appreciate each other and know each other’s personalities. They don’t categorize each other into any certain types but consider each other as unique persons. In Fusco’s Marco Polo, similarly, the

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