The discussion of film & film festivals’ social responsibility

If we use the public sphere theory to explain the function of the film festival, Film festival should be a long-term and continuous process of social formation and regenerate the public sphere to make a voice for different groups of people.


Due to various political pressure, it is hard to make a discussion about a lot of sensitive social issues during the film festival in China. However, recently, a film called “Dying to Survive” which directed by Wen Muye made it and won the Golden Deer Award for Best Movie in 14th Changchun Film Festival. This film is created based on a real-life story of Lu Yong who suffered from leukemia. In 2004, the legal medicine is too expensive to afford among cancer sufferers in China. Countless people dead since there is not a mature medical insurance system but the legal medicine cannot be afforded by the majority of people. Lu Yong then smuggled relatively cheap cancer medicine from India to help 1,000 leukemia patients, but this kind of medicine didn’t get permission from the Chinese government and was accused as the smuggler. The movie has engendered a heated discussion about Lu Yong’s smuggler action and made a positive impact on the reformation of the health care system in China especially for critical illness. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also cited the movie to call for a price cut down to embody health care in terms of critical illness.

The Golden Deer Award of Changchun Film Festival leaves me a place to rethink the significance and the what really mean by a success of a film and film festival. “Dying to Survive” won seven nominations at 14th Changchun Film Festival, Zheng Xu who act as the lead role in the movie won the Golden Deer Award for Best Actor. As what Zheng Xu’s speech in the film festival, the award encourages him to figure out what is the significance of the best actor and a successful movie. A good actor should devote himself to making more filming that promoting social change and transformation regarding different social issues. The Occurrence of “Dying to Survive” identifies that Chinese film industry begins to more focus on the social issues rather than keen on pursuit commercial profits, and this is all Chinese people would like to expect in the future.

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