Rewriting History

One Saturday, when I was at the Chinese Recreation Club (CRC) in Taiping, I happened to catch part of Shaw's old costume drama in TV, The Last Woman of Shang. A group of old men were sitting on a sofa and the TV was on. I chose to sit down beside a dozing plump man. Shang, by the way, refers to China's first great dynasty. The Bronze Age civilization and Chinese writing first emerged during this period in China and it is no wonder then that Shang became the first Chinese Dynasty that leave a historical record. I suppose then, that's why we have this story about Da Ji, which in the movie, was played by the legendary Lin Dai. Da Ji was a favorite concubine of Emperor Xin, the last king of Shang Dynasty. Historically, she was known for her beauty and cruelty that brought ruin to a dynasty and is often portrayed as an evil fox spirit in literature, such as in the famed Chinese novel Fengshen Yanyi. In the movie though, Da Ji was depicted as a nicer woman just out to revenge her father. I did not get to see the ending of this movie as the dozing man suddenly woke up and went for the remote control. Suddenly, everyone was watching a badminton tournament between Malaysia and Indonesia. Bah! I really couldn't really make up my mind who to be angry with - the inconsiderate sleeping man or the movie makers who rewrite history at their fancy!


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