By: Windy Pang, PhD student, Department of English, FAH │ ISSUE91 SEPTEMBER My UM
Nezha – Be the Master of Your Own Fate
Two big, round, smoky eyes on a supple, freckled face, and crescent-shaped teeth protruding from his sly grin – yes, you’re looking at the face of this summer’s most beloved naughty kid, Nezha, from the record-breaking movie Nezha: The Devil is Coming. As of 24 August, Nezha, China’s first 3D animated feature film released in IMAX format, has garnered more than 4.4bn yuan at the box office. It is ranked among the top 3 films in Chinese box-office history, next to Wolf Warriors II (2017) and The Wandering Earth (2019).
Originally, Nezha was a deity from Buddhism and Taoism, but he is now known as a household hero via the popular Ming Dynastyera novel The Investiture of the Gods . The Nezha animated film draws inspiration from this character by successfully portraying him as an obstinate yet righteous child who will not succumb to fate or prejudice. The film has won the hearts of audience members and critics alike with its marvelous spectacle and excellent plot and characters. It has reminded the entire creative industry that there are inexhaustible treasures to uncover from traditional culture. Maybe in the near future, Chinese animators can create more sequels featuring Nezha, and together they will form a Chinese mythology universe that rivals the universe of Marvel’s franchised movies!
The film reminds me of the Na Tcha Temple in Macao, next to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, built in 1888 in an effort to protect people at that time from the plague. Na Tcha Temple has not only witnessed the cultural diversity of Macao, but also reminds us that we may be remembered for the good we do in our community. (To know more about famous religious sites in Macao, please refer to the August 2018 edition of My UM: ‘The Three Oldest Churches in Macao’.)
‘My fate is decided by me, not by God’. So says Nezha as he holds on to the righteousness of his actions and finally saves himself from the injustice of fate. As the new semester unfolds, I believe that Nezha can inspire my fellow students to believe that, as long as we hold on to our goals, we can be the master of our own semester, and reap the harvest at the end of the year. Here’s wishing everyone a great semester!
Contributions to this column are from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities