Chinese Whispers


Extract: 3:40 min from a total of 11 min
Camera: Maria Vedder et al.
Editing: Manja Ebert, Maria Vedder
Sound editing: Christian Obermaier
enabled through: Open Academy Vietnam, Veronika Radulovic, Andreas Schmidt
Goethe-Institut Vietnam, Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch

Chinese whispers is a game played around the world, in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one uttered by the first. Using the method of Chinese whispers, the film observes an approach to a phenomenon of cultural differences. The copying of art is valued quite differently in Asian and western cultures. In the west a copy is viewed as a forgery. But in Asian cultures copying is valued more than the western „compulsion to originality because of egocentric individuality”. With the copy the accomplishments of the ancestors and thereby of the collective will be explored and imparted.
“The copy honors the master.” Confucius 551 – 479 B.C.