The stifling expressions of oppressive pseudo-love are contrasted to the genuine love advocated by the guru. One scene in the latter part of the film shows Waters, who has fallen in love with Ruth, begging for her care by writing on her forehead the words, “Be kind.” This appeal touches Ruth and reminds her of her guru’s teaching. Her attempt to apply this in her situation helps her overcome her anger and antipathy toward Waters and all that he represents. A comparison of scenes should also be made between those depicting the image of Waters at the start of the film, in which he appears as the arrogant expert and master of the whole situation, and those scenes showing how that image collapses gradually toward the end, when he is revealed as weak and vulnerable, comic and pathetic, in need of compassion and understanding, and therefore more truly human. Many film critics feel that Anna and Jane Campion provided an ending of the film as an artificially tidy resolution to a messy situation, that this ending is not warranted by the theme of the film. The last scenes of Ruth and her mother in India, and Waters as married and a father of twins, are important for reflection. Questions for reflection and discussion
Sum up the issue of power as depicted in the film. Where does true power lie, according to this film? Do you share some of the Western suspicion about Eastern gurus? Can you justify those suspicions by having read serious and objective accounts, and perhaps also by having had actual experiences of real gurus in the West or in the East, who have deformed the authentic Asian tradition of guru? Did the film do anything to clarify your thinking or change your attitude in this matter? How would you classify Ruth’s guru—true or false? Would you say that the writers’ final statement represented in the ending of the film, is in keeping with the basic thesis of Anna and Jane Campion? Why or why not?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Country of Origin: China, Taiwan, U.S.A. Producer: Columbia TriStar Director: Ang Lee
The central symbol around which the story revolves is a 400-year-old sword called Green Destiny, which belongs to the greatest warrior and master of martial arts, Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat). He is weary of fighting and wishes to pass on the sword and the skills in its use that he has garnered in his career. To his long-time friend and fellow fighter, Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) he entrusts the sword, to be handed over to an old friend, Sir Te (Sihung Lung). It is evident from the first scenes when Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien meet, that a mutual love exists between the two, though it has remained largely unspoken all those years and is expressed only in non-verbal though eloquent glances. The sword is almost immediately stolen by a mysterious thief skilled in martial arts. Most of the spectacular and breathtaking scenes of martial arts revolve around the efforts Li and Yu
Dialogue between Alberione and Asian Traditions of the Spiritual Masters.