The movie Crazy Racer is a film that explores bike racing culture in Hong Kong and makes a point to look at the various elements within an athlete’s life, including their drug use and personal decisions. Geng Hao is an athlete who wishes to perform at his peak level, and he trusts his trainers to provide him with the best supplements and training possible, but then he tests positive for drug use. Performance enhancing drugs being used by athletes is forbidden within the world of Crazy Racer just like it is in the real world, and as a result, Geng Hao lost his ability to race.
The overwhelming theme in this film was the role that money plays in the athletic world, especially with regard to the endorsements and other money-making mechanisms that exist for the sake of promoting self-image. Drug sales and the criminal underworld become more enmeshed in the plot when Geng Hao asks him former trainer Li to compensate him for his lost wages via paying for the funeral of his dead coach. During this same time period, Li pays a couple of amateur criminals to kill his wife, but then they are approached by his wife and offered a counter to spare her life.
Later in the movie a drug dealer from Thailand disguises himself as a bike racer in order to blend in and sell drugs easier, ultimately, he dies a very grisly death in which he is frozen alive. The characters in this movie are all portrayed in a way that insists upon introspection and the chance to engage in consideration that amounts to empathizing with those who are apparently not capable of empathy themselves.
The cultural representations in Crazy Racer pertain to a series of culture clashes within the country, and it could be said to be a metaphor Chinese culture at large in terms of the way in which it has matured (Louie 46). There is a significant point at which the struggle for identity, honor, and financial accomplishment is on display in this film for the sake of promoting awareness and critique. Unlike the United States which openly embraces capitalism to no end, the nation of China has a communist government and is largely governed by the underlying tenets of communism.
Children in China begin engaging in athletic activities which are above and beyond to the point of instilling a superior sense of discipline, but this discipline comes at a cost in terms of depriving Chinese children of their childhood(s) (Weller). The sense of national pride and duty in terms of training athletes for the purposes of representing the nation of China in the Olympics is an omnipresent goal for some Chinese. Looking for the right type of approach to athletics, individual identity, and the sense of duty in terms of representing China on the world’s stage by any means necessary.
I believe that the Chinese drug culture is something which is going to continue to evolve and worsen as China is forced to confront their social and moral pitfalls in light of expanding private property rights (Levin). Being able to properly engage the Chinese population with regard to these emerging issues will pertain largely to the willingness of the Chinese government to address drug abuse within the population. Currently, the penalties for drug abuse are almost exclusively punitive in nature, rather than rehabilitative, and this is counterproductive.
Levin, Dan. "Despite a Crackdown, Use of Illegal Drugs in China Continues Unabated.”NYTimes.com, New York Times, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/world/despite-a-crackdown-use-of-illegal-drugs-i-china-continues-unabated.html. Accessed 23 May 2018.
Louie, Kam. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Chinese Culture. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Weller, Chris. "Inside the grueling Chinese 'sports schools' where 6-year-old farm kids become Olympic superstars." Business Insider, 2016, www.businessinsider.com/how-china-trains-olympic-athletes-2016-7. Accessed 23 May 2018.