Westerns, Wuxia, and Work

I just finished watching True Grit on Netflix during my imposed accelerated recovery. I also watched Unforgiven and was looking forward to Tombstone, but unfortunately, the film is not available.

I love the Western genre. The genre has a lot of commonalities with the Chinese Wuxia and the Japanese Jidaigeki genres, which I grew up with. One could also draw parallels to heist films.

What interests me in all those genres is the moral tension woven into the stories. Usually the protagonist in these stories has a special skill (gunslinging, thievery, martial arts, or sword drawing), and said protagonist has to accomplish a task in a world that doesn't have the same moral constructs. Sometimes there are consequences to these actions, sometimes there are not; the ending can be ambiguous.

As actors in an entrepreneurial jianghu, we are oftentimes faced with morally ambiguous situations. We are forced to make black and white decisions in a world of grey. We have to make not only the right decisions, but for the right reasons.

I don't have the right answer to every situation. But I think to question my actions and their moral consequences is healthy. Watching these films is one way to focus on that debate.