CDF Talk|柯文思:不应发动这场没有任何赢家的贸易战 返回 会议动态 列表>

CDF Talk是第二十届中国发展高层论坛首次推出的创新演讲。CDF Talk的宗旨,是汇聚全球顶尖学者、企业家和行业领袖,向外界传播具有启发性的独特观点与个人故事,演讲内容涉及政治、经济、人文等多领域。


今年九月的“2019中国发展高层论坛专题研讨会的CDF Talk以“贸易、开放与共享繁荣”为主题,邀请十位站在行业前端的讲者分享他们的故事与思考。


今天,我们将为大家放送导演、编剧、两届奥斯卡奖得主导演柯文思拍摄中美关系纪录片《善良的天使》幕后故事。


柯文思(Malcolm Clarke)


《善良的天使》幕后故事


Better Angels - Behind the Scenes



“我把中国和美国看作两个不同的部落,隔着大片水域的灌木丛,互相关注着对方,互相也都不清楚河的对岸究竟在发生着什么,河对岸的那些人到底是敌是友。”


“我觉得现在是轮到中国讲故事的时候了。全世界很多国家都害怕所谓崛起的中国。这并不因为中国是一个威胁,只因为他们不了解中国。”


“中国不是敌人。努力让14亿人民过上更好的生活,她正在做任何一个国家都会做的事情来摆脱贫困。”


“如果全球最大的两个超级大国能够相互开诚布公,能够在一些互利共赢的事情上合作,面临分歧的时候能够尊重彼此的差异,不只是中美两国会受益,全世界的日子都会好过一些。”


※ 以下是演讲内容节选:

柯文思:《善良的天使》幕后故事

@ CDF TALK

大家下午好! 


今天我想给大家讲一下我的电影,这部电影叫做《善良的天使》,是我在6年前也就是2013年拍的,讲述的是未来中美关系。


2013年,中美之间已经有一些紧张关系了,美国国内也在广泛讨论如何应对中国的崛起。


我不是一个中国专家,我不会说普通话,不是一个学者,也不是一个政治家。


但我是一个制片人。我的工作其实就是讲述人的故事,我认为通过更多相关故事、更广泛的事实,也许能让大家去了解更多之前不了解的事情。


但是,在刚开拍《善良的天使》的时候,我犯了一个巨大的错误。


我没用讲故事的形式,而用了和专家对话的形式,和满腹经纶的政治家、银行家、经济学家对话,其结果像噩梦一样的糟糕。


我很快意识到我的电影像是做成了一个电台节目,让人昏昏欲睡。因为它很无趣,没有生命,没有灵魂。


我即刻停了下来,重新开始构思。我觉得最好的方式是透过表象、从人类学的角度拍摄这部电影。
我把中国和美国看作两个不同的部落,隔着大片水域的灌木丛,互相关注着对方,互相也都不清楚河的对岸究竟在发生着什么,河对岸的那些人到底是敌是友。


有趣的是,六年过去了中美之间现在似乎依然如此。



《善良的天使》是由美方出资拍摄的,这个片子也主要是为美国观众拍的,为什么?因为我认为其实中国人对于美国的了解要比大多数美国人对中国的了解要多得多。


为什么会这样?我觉得某种意义上这是一种赞扬。赞扬美国的宣传机构、好莱坞电影、电视、出版物以及活跃的学术文化生活。


我来自英国,但我从小是在美国的电影和电视的陪伴下长大的,所以我认为我非常了解美国。我想我们都认为自己了解美国。这很棒,说明美国人讲故事的能力非常强,中国在这方面就略有欠缺。


但是在现在这个时代,当世界极度地需要了解你的时候,中国需要在介绍自己方面做得再好一些。你看几百年来,美国在这方面做得很好。


我觉得现在轮到中国讲故事了。


我们希望通过《善良的天使》这部电影尝试去平衡这种信息不对称的问题。当然,这个时候不太好继续去讲述这部影片,因为你们可能都没有看过,显然此刻我也不太可能让你们看全片,但是可以看一下预告片。


这是我们制作的吸引美国观众走进电影院的预告片。我们先来看一下这个。然后再来继续讨论。



大家有没有在影片最后听见基辛格先生的话?我们会面临冲突吗?基辛格先生说会的,如果我做了这部电影的话。这并不是他的原话,但是他大致就是这个意思,他说我可能会被威胁,可能会被批判,可能会被排斥。


的确这个就是我拍了这部电影之后的待遇。我被称作美国的卖国贼。尽管我是个英国人。


所以很明显的中美之间有一个很大的问题,我们必须要对现在的情况做出一些改变,这也是为什么我拍了《善良的天使》,我希望至少能够给美国人打开一扇窗户,去观察这利害攸关的两国关系,了解自己,了解中国人民。


于是就有了这部电影。

这个人是麦蒙·玛塔,他是来自于得克萨斯州的老师,一位橄榄球教练,他到中国来找工作。


我们在上海的时候拍了他,他在学校里教学生美式橄榄球,中国的学生们很喜欢他,他连续两年被评为年度最佳教师。


麦蒙让学生们认识到美式橄榄球的核心是要像一个团队一样去思考,并且合作,这个就是团队合作。等他的学生们踢完橄榄球回到教室,他们会把这个思维以及协作方式带入到他们的学习当中,这些学生的成绩都提高了。


儒家的教育体系强调的是个人的杰出和成就。麦蒙的学生们之前从未被鼓励要相互合作。这样一个简单的创新,对于他在德州的学生来说可能是习以为常的,但是却在中国学生这里产生了巨大的变化。他的杰出表现使他得以升职加薪,他的中国太太也非常地高兴。


影片的后面,我们还讲了一个人的故事这个人叫李绵军。


他从小就是一个数学神童,他一直热爱算盘,这个长久以来被更多的应用在店铺中的,有着悠久历史的来自中国的计算工具。


李先生发现算盘其实可以用来教授数学,特别是教小孩子。而且孩子们会学得非常好。我们对此有些怀疑,我们就和李先生来到了洛杉矶。


我们带着他和他的算盘来到了洛杉矶中南部,一所西班牙裔学生为主的学校。这个地区非常贫穷。


结果非常惊人,不到两个小时,七岁的孩子就学会用算盘来解决复杂的数学问题。


我数学很差,我多希望我小时候能有这样的教学方法,这很了不起。这件事令我叹服,希望对观众来说也是这样。我们西方人通常都很难让我们的孩子对数学产生兴趣,用这个古老的中国发明或许能说服他们。


这两个关于教育的故事是想要提醒我们的观众,中美都不要垄断这些好的创意,而且如果愿意的话,我们能够互相学习彼此受益。


我拍这个电影犯的第二个严重错误是,我以为我拍摄讲述中美的电影就肯定主要在美国和中国两地拍,事实证明我错了。


当我开始拍摄的时候,我没有意识到中国已经是一个全球大国。要准确地评价今日的中国,我们必须要走遍全球去了解中国真正的面貌。去了解中国的真实面貌。


这对我的投资人来说是非常糟糕的消息,我觉得他们绝不会原谅我,但是上帝保佑他们,他们还是继续给我投资了。于是我们到了非洲、到了中东、穿越了欧洲。


我给大家讲一个小故事。


在埃塞俄比亚的一个地方,在那里我们遇到了保旺礼先生。


他是一名中国的工程师,帮助当地在青尼罗河上游建造一架作为交通要道的桥梁。那是个非常遥远的地方。


26岁的 保先生已经结婚并有一个儿子,但他从没见过。


妻子生产的时候他没能在身边,而且由于地处偏远,他一周只能给妻子打一次电话。


保先生在埃塞俄比亚的任期是3年,实际上他待了5年,只在18个月的时候回了一次家。


他和他的家人愿意接受这种牺牲。因为对一个年轻的工程师来说,在非洲领到的薪水会比在中国要高很多。


我们向美国人讲述保先生的故事,并不是因为他很特殊,相反,是因为他很平常。


中国改革开放以来的40年里,有着数不清的像保先生这样的故事。


数不清的家庭天各一方,4000万留守儿童只能跟着爷爷奶奶长大。他们的父母亲在城市里寻找工作,希望获得更好的生活。


我们在西方能看到或听到一些关于中国的非凡变革,但或许我们无法充分了解中国人民为此付出的巨大代价。所有的这些撑起了中国的经济崛起。


《善良的天使》就是希望能够把中国人的面貌、中国人的故事展示出来,以促成两国间更好的理解。尽管在西方,有一些人还在尽力妖魔化中国。


讽刺的是,我们也意识到中国人和美国人其实在本质上是相似的,尤其是说到创新、勤奋、创造力、开拓精神,毫无疑问,这两个国家在全世界都是领先的。


我们花了三年的时间来拍摄《善良的天使》。拍摄刚结束的时候,收到了一个晴天霹雳般的消息,特朗普成了美国的总统。更糟糕的是他兑现了竞选期间的承诺,对中国采取更加敌对的立场。
在这个特朗普时期,我们手上竟然有一部奥巴马时代的电影。想想我之前提到的那些投资人,他们这个时候很焦虑。我们必须再来一遍。


当然,不能从头开始,但我们需要重新调整,让它适合这个新时期并能保持话题性。


让我意想不到的是,很奇怪,特朗普总统非常执着于中国。他不断征收越来越多的惩罚性的关税,这使得我们这部已经六年的电影在现在看来仍然是一部契合时代并有话题性的电影。


我承认我并不是特朗普总统的支持者,但我觉得欠他一个人情。因为每当他开口说话,似乎都是在为我们的电影做宣传,而我们还不用付给他钱。


所以,在这几年的环行世界去拍摄这部讲述大国关系的电影的过程中,我有哪些见解和观察,又得出了什么样的结论呢?


首先我认为不应该把中国视为敌人。


努力让14亿人民过上更好的生活,她正在做任何一个国家都会做的事情来摆脱贫困。


落后的国家总是希望通过任何可行的方式向前追赶,这没什么可被质疑的。中国从国外学习到了很多创新、发明、技术,这没什么可被指责的,这是可以理解的。一个国家要发展、要转型,他还能做什么呢?


而在19世纪末20世纪初的时候, 全球的知识产权的“窃取者”又是谁呢?谁能猜到?美国也曾面不改色地拿来主义的使用、改造来自英国和西欧的技术。


如果美国和中国能够同意在公平的环境下竞争,他们应该继续谈判,改善贸易规则,实现互利共赢,而不是发动这场没有任何赢家的贸易战。


其实中国是美国不平等加剧的替罪羊,经常被指控抢走了就业机会。其实并不是中国人把就业机会抢走了,这些决定是由美国做出的,是由希望保持竞争力的美国工厂主们做出的。


《善良的天使》中我们也呈现了俄亥俄州中西部的那些工人们发生了什么。所有那里发生的事情现在也发生在中国工人的面前,他们也面临着竞争和失业。工作机会流向了劳动力更低廉的非洲和东南亚国家。残酷的事实就是,全球化对于它的受害者来说是一样的。


在拍了《善良的天使》之后的现在,我不是亲华分子,我也不支持现任美国政府的“胡作非为”,但是我支持中美之间能够和平共处,因为在我看来这是最基本的常识。


如果全球最大的两个超级大国能够相互开诚布公,能够在一些互利共赢的事情上合作(例如气候变化),面临分歧的时候能够尊重彼此的差异,不只是中美两国会受益,全世界的日子都会好过一些。


所以我觉得现在美国人应该更多地来了解中国这个神奇的国度和他的人民,而且给予中国应有的尊重。


西方有很多人依然害怕中国的崛起,但是我们应该要记住,中国其实不是在崛起,而是在复兴。


过去五千年,中国文化对于全人类的文明都是做出了巨大的贡献的。过去的四十年中,中国已经把自己打造成一个具有全球竞争力的科技强国,中国人民有理由为此感到自豪。


我希望在未来的几个月、几年当中,理智能够占据上风,暂时的冲突能够得到解决。当两国能够真诚、互利的合作的时候,我们肯定能从这个独特又非凡的国家获得更多益处。


感谢大家!



Good afternoon, everyone. And let me first say a sincere thank you to CDF for asking me to be here.


Um, but I want to tell you a little bit about a film that I was approached to make. A little while ago, 2013, so six years ago now,  the film is called ‘Better Angels’. And it's about the future of the relationship between the United States and China.


Tensions in 2013 had been developing for quite some time, and there's a great deal of discussion in the States about what they were going to have to do about the rise of China.


So, um, back then I was no expert on China. And I have to confess that I am still no expert on your country. I don't speak mandarin, I’m not an academic. I'm not a political scientist.


I'm a filmmaker. And to do my job, what I need to do is to tell stories about people, which hopefully will have some relevance, some wider truth, and maybe kind of have some access to some realizations that you know unknown for people.


However, when I started making better angels, I made a big mistake because I didn't start by, looking at telling stories. I started by talking to a lot of experts. I talked to political scientists, to bankers, to economists, to all kinds of academics, in book-filled rooms. And it was a nightmare. It was awful.


And I realized very quickly that I was making a film which was kind of like a radio show with a light on. It was a guaranteed cure for insomnia. Because it just wasn't interesting. And it didn't have a pulse. It didn't have a heart.


So I stopped and I went back to the drawing board and I decided that the best way to even begin to scratch the surface of the subject was to make an anthropological film to look at China and America as if they were to tribes two alien tribes, kind of staring at each other through the undergrowth across the large body of water and not really knowing how to kind of assess what was happening on the other side of the river. Those guys on the other side were they friends? Or were they foes?


And interestingly, that still seems to be the operative question today.


‘Better Angels’ was financed by Americans, and it was made mostly for an American audience. Why? Because I think it's fair to say that the average Chinese man on the street pretty much understands America far better than the average American understands China.


Why? Because I think it's a in a sense, it's a tribute. It's a tribute to the American propaganda machine, to Hollywood to movies, to television, to a free press, to an active intellectual and cultural life.


I’m English, but you know, growing up, I was raised on American movies and the American television series as a teenager. I thought I understood America pretty well. I think we all think we understand America. And, that's great. Americans have always been wonderful telling their own story. China, not so good.


But one would like to think that this moment in history, when the world desperately needs to understand your country. China should be doing a better job of telling its own story. America has done it for century marvelously.


I have to say, I think it's China's turn.


‘Better Angels’ is our small attempt to rebalance that kind of information deficit that exists. Now, it's tricky to speak about a film that probably most of you here have not seen. So perhaps, I can start by showing you not the movie, obviously, but the trailer for the film, the trailer that we made to show to Americans to get Americans into the movie theaters. So let's just, I'll shut up for a second. Look at that, and then we can discuss it. Thank you.


Oh, did you hear Kissinger at the end? If we are to clash? Henry Kissinger told me that if I made this film, I would be, um, he used more colorful language, but I will not use that language, but I will say that. He said I would be threatened. I would be criticized. I would be ostracized.Um, and it seems to be happening. I've been called an American traitor despite the fact I’m British.


But it's clear that we have a problem, right? It's clear that we need to do something about the circumstances. So that's why we made ‘Better Angels’ to try and at least open a little window of insight for Americans into what this relationship had at stake and who you were, who the Chinese people were, so the film's approach.


This is Memo Mata. Memo was a Texan, a teacher and the football coach who came to China looking for a job.


We filmed him in Shanghai, where he'd just been voted twice teacher of the year for getting great results out of his young Chinese students by teaching them American football. Now Memo discovered the fundamentals of football, which I know nothing about.


Thinking as a team working and cooperating together, what he called group work meant that once his kids got back into the class, they applied those new ways of thinking and collaborating to their schoolwork. The class work on their scores went up.


In a Confucian education system where individual excellence and achievement is valued, Memo’s kids had never ever been encouraged to work together. And that simple innovation, which would have been second nature to his kids in Texas, made a measurable difference here in China. For his excellence. He was given a raise. He was given a promotion, and his wife, who was Chinese, was delighted.


A little later in the film, we balance Memo story with the story of this man. His name is Li Mianjun. And as a kid, he was a Math prodigy, who developed a lifelong love for the abacus, the centuries old Chinese calculating device that was used for centuries, principally as a merchant store.


Mr. Li discovered that the abacus could be re-purposed to teach math to little kids. And he could get extraordinary results. So we were a little skeptical of this. And we took Mr. Li to Los Angeles.


We took him and his abacus to a largely Hispanic school in south central Los Angeles, which is a poor neighborhood.


The results were amazing. In less than two hours, seven-year-olds were using the abacus to solve complicated math problems.


I was terrible at Math. I mean, I would love to have had this when I was a kid, it was remarkable. It was a revelation and a compelling lesson for me. And I hope for our audience. And what can be achieved if we in the west who struggle mightily to engage our kids, to develop an interest in Math, if we could be persuaded to utilize this ancient Chinese invention.


The point of these two stories, two education stories to remind our audience that neither China nor America have a monopoly on good ideas. And we really can learn and benefit from each others knowledge, if the willingness is there.


A second big mistake that I made making this film was that I thought if I was making a film about America and China that I'd be largely shooting in America and China. I was wrong because what I failed to appreciate when I started making the movie was that China is a global power. And to get an accurate assessment of China today, you have to go all over the world to see how China is in the world.


This was terrible news for my finances. And I don't think they will ever forgive me, but god bless them, they kept the money coming. And so we went to Africa. We went to the middle east, across Europe.


And I want to tell you a little story about, a place that we went in Ethiopia, where we came across this guy called Bao Wangli. He was a Chinese engineer helping to build a desperately-needed bridge, up near the headwaters of the Blue Nile. It’s very remote.


Bao was twenty-six and married with a son he'd never met.


He wasn't there when his young wife gave birth. And because of his geographic isolation, he could only call her once a week by cell phone. Bao’s Ethiopian assignment was for three years. He actually stayed for five with one home visit after eighteen months.


This was a huge sacrifice that he and his family willingly made, because the pay was better for a young engineer in Africa, than it might have been had he stayed in China.


And we told Bao’s story to Americans, not because it was unusual, but precisely because it was not unusual. It's all too familiar to the Chinese in the past forty years since China's opening up, there have been millions of Bao’s stories.


Countless families have been separated, forty million left behind children being raised by their grandparents, while their mothers and fathers are in China's cities trying to find work and money and save for a better life.


We in the West see and hear about the extraordinary transformation of China. But perhaps we don't sufficiently comprehend the tremendous price the Chinese people have paid this huge sacrifice that has been made. This supported China's economic miracle.


What ‘Better Angels’ was trying to do was to put a human face on the Chinese people and the Chinese experience to forge a better understanding between the two nations, despite the best efforts of some of the folks in the west who demonize China.


Ironically, we came to realize that the Chinese and American people are fundamentally far more similar than they are different. When it comes to innovation, hard work, creativity, entrepreneurship, indisputably these two countries lead the world. I'm going to steal a line from Tom Friedman, who I just watched, give a lovely speech. He said America and China are one country, two systems. I wish I had written that.


We made ‘Better Angels’. It took us three years. And then it came as a shock, just as we were finishing the movie when Donald Trump became the US President. And worse than that, he followed through on his campaign pledge to take a much more adversarial and confrontational stance towards China. Suddenly, unexpectedly we had an Obama era movie in the age of Trump.


You remember those finances I was telling you about. They were not happy. So we had to start again. Uh, we didn't start from scratch, but we needed to recalibrate our film and make it topical and relevant for these new times.


But oddly, and certainly unexpectedly to me, President Trump's continued obsession with China and his imposition of ever more punitive tariffs has meant that our now six year old movie is still relevant and pertinent. Today it's still a big story.


And although I confess, I'm not a huge fan of the American President. I feel we do owe Trump a debt, because every time he opens his mouth, he seems to sell our movie and we don't have to pay him.


So after years of continually traveling around China in the world, making a film about an increasingly vexed super power relationships. What insights and observations have I made, and what conclusions have I drawn?


First, I feel that China should not be seen as an enemy.


In trying to raise the living standards of 1.4 billion people, it's doing what any nation would do to pull itself out of poverty and privation.


Countries that are lagging behind of always try to play catch up by pretty much any means that work. It's indisputable. The China has appropriated ideas, innovations, technologies from abroad. There shouldn't be any blame for that. It's understandable. When a country is transitioning out of underdevelopment, what can we expect?


And who was the world's preeminent IP thief at the end of the 19th and the early 20th century? Who can guess the United States shamelessly appropriated, adopted, adapted, and often improved technologies born in Britain, in western Europe。


If only China and the United States can agree on how to level the playing field, which is why they should continue to negotiate, to try to find improved trade rules, that can be of a mutual benefit. Instead of waging this unwinnable trade war, which benefits neither side.


China has been made the whipping boy for rising inequality in the United States and constantly been accused of job stealing. It wasn't the Chinese who shipped those jobs to China. Those decisions were made in America, and they were made by factory owners who wanted to stay competitive.


And interestingly, in ‘Better Angels’, we show that what happened to those factory workers in the mid-west, in Ohio, all across the mid-west is now beginning to happen here in China to Chinese factory workers, because they are facing competition and losing their jobs to even cheaper competitors in Africa and Southeast Asia. The hard truth is that globalization is agnostic with respect to its victims.


After six years of shooting ‘Better Angels’, I'm not pro-China and I'm not pro the shenanigans of the Present American administration. But I am pro China and America getting along because to me that's plain commonsense.


If the world's two great superpowers can deal with each other openly and honestly, working together on issues of mutual interest, like climate change, for example, while respecting each other’s differences when the inevitable disagreements happen. And not only will the US and China benefit, but the whole world will sleep easier.


Perhaps it's time for the American people to learn more about this amazing country and its people and accord China the respect it deserves.


Many in the west still fear the rise of China, but it wouldn't hurt to remember that it's less arise than it is a renaissance of a civilization that has contributed immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge for close to 5000 years. In the space of just forty years, China has reinvented itself as a technological super state that can compete with the best in the world, an achievement for which the Chinese people can be justifiably proud.


I can only hope that in the months and years ahead, level heads might sooner or later prevail and that our conflicts prove temporary and resolvable for we surely have more to gain from this unique and extraordinary country when inflammatory provocation is replaced by sincere, mutually beneficial cooperation.


Thank you very much.


ABOUT THE SPEAKER

关于讲者

   柯文思   

导演、编剧,两届奥斯卡奖得主


世界知名导演,好莱坞剧本医生,奥斯卡评委会成员,从事纪录片和剧情片创作30余年,拍摄足迹遍布全世界80多个国家,作品多次获得国际电影节大奖,包括4次奥斯卡提名、2座奥斯卡奖、16座艾美奖、5座有线电视杰出奖等。

柯文思担任了2015年上海电影节纪录片单元评委会主席,2016年广州国际纪录片节评委,2018年北京电影节纪录片单元特邀嘉宾;并受中国人民对外友好协会邀请,参加了纪念中国人民抗日战争暨世界反法西斯战争胜利70周年大阅兵。


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