Seven Fianna

I came across an interesting project last week by artist Zhaochen Vincent Wu (based in the States) who was working on a cross-cultural proposal merging Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ with the Fenian stories.

He explains it as follows:

“This set of design is for my project “Seven Fianna”, which is an adoption to the classic movie “Seven Samurai”. My version took place in Medieval Ireland: A Mountain Spirit robs and kills shepherds and their herds from a small village. The village lost almost all food and sacrifice to the Gods. In order to save the village, the village head hired the “Fianna” to fight for them.”

Obviously, this reveals that the artist had a very limited knowledge  or understanding of Irish culture, what a fian was, etc. etc.

I have to admit, blending themes and elements from two or more different genres can often produce some interesting work however when you attempt to do it with two different cultures, it its a whole different ‘kettle of fish’. It’s not uncommon to see such projects ending up with a complete mess of a final product.

Intriguing though the concept of a potential blend of ancient Irish culture and Japanese culture might be, the truth is that it’s actually the individual resonance and authenticity of those different cultures, that makes them interesting. Once you meld one with the other you end up with something completely different (a bit like melding colours like yellow and green to make the colour blue), The final product has no cultural integrity or authenticity and, as an  entertainment, will probably resemble a generic fantasy story at best.

That said, I could be wrong. It may be possible to create a narrative product that successfully merges two cultures.

I just haven’t come across one yet.