The Political Narrative(s) of Hero

Gary D. Rawnsley

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A detailed reading of Zhang Yimou’s Hero reveals a multi-layered political discourse. The film addresses themes and issues that resonate with political meaning and imagery, and which have as much relevance to an analysis of modern China as to our understanding of the ancient period of the Warring States that forms the backdrop to the movie. This paper examines multiple themes, including (a) the philosophy and practice of power in Qin dynasty China (legalism; utilitarianism); (b) the question of narratives (who gets to tell the story? Whose version of history is legitimate and is accepted as such?); and (c) does the film accept that authoritarian control is a necessary evil, that it can serve order, peace, stability and prosperity?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalMedia Asia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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