Zhang Yimou Says China Needs to Produce Better Movies

In an interview with CNBC, China’s best-known director came off more as a politician than a filmmaker.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou sounded more like a government representative than an artist during an interview with CNBC Thursday, but admitted that the quality of China’s films remains an issue.

Zhang’s most recent film, The Great Wall, did well in some territories but wasn’t the crossover hit in North America that he and producers Legendary Entertainment had hoped for.

“What we need is Chinese people to produce better films, and this will take some time,” Zhang told CNBC reporter Sophia Yan.

“The perspective of both sides is completely different. In my opinion, Hollywood still needs the China market in hopes of making more money. For Chinese, the view is, ‘ah, is this an opportunity to export Chinese culture abroad?’ I don’t think China yet has the dream to turn a big profit in the American market. Chinese simply want to introduce China to the rest of the world, whereas Americans thinking in more real, concrete terms, ‘how big is this market, and how can we earn more?'” Zhang said.

“The Chinese censorship system has always been there, it’s the reality, it’s the reality of Chinese society. These are the current circumstances and the same rules apply for all of us. I hope this will change in the future and that things become more open as the country continues to develop,” he said.