Jinghao Zhou, assistant professor of Asian languages and cultures, had his film review article “The Emperor's Shadow and the Last Emperor” published in Journal of Asian Mission,” 6:1 (2004). This article is based on his teaching experience on Chinese Cinema. In order for students to understand Chinese culture in the Chinese historical context, Zhou screened two films The Emperor's Shadow and The Last Emperor in his “Chinese Cinema” classroom.
The first film is about the story of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shihuang; and the second film is about the story of the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi. Thirty-seven students' response is very positive, because the films are not only to provide an overview of historical China, but also to enable students to make the close comparison between imperial China and the communist system.
Zhou in the article tries to argue that dictatorship and corruption were twin brothers. All unlawful acts and corruption derived from the same root-highly centralized political system. The revolution swept the last emperor away ninety years ago, but the emperors' shadows evidently remain in communist China. The one-party system is unchecked power. In present-day China, the government's corruption has become more serious, hurting the majority of the Chinese people and threatening the communist regime. The corruption could trigger a new revolution if the party does not draw a lesson from the past.