Saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the second time. This time I wondered what ethnic group the barbarian bandito “Lo” was supposed to belong to. It’s probably stated outright in the original novel by Wang Dulu, Wo Hu Cang Long, but the book hasn’t been translated into English. Anybody read it in Chinese?
In the film’s dialogue, Lo makes it plain that he’s different from the Han Chinese. I caught hints that he might be some sort of Turkic rather than Mongol. The desert badlands sequence was filmed in Xinjiang, the land of the Turkic Uyghurs, in the Taklimakan Desert (but some of it was also filmed in Inner Mongolia’s Gobi Desert). When Lo sings to Jen as she bathes, the lyrics sounded un-Chinese. Can any Chinese speakers confirm this? I thought I heard the word guzel, which is Turkish for ‘beautiful’, which would be appropriate considering he’s singing to Jen.