WdK Tag 5: „Apparatus“ – Die Selbstkritik der Anderen: I am not Madame Bovary von Feng Xiaogang

Der Apparat. Der Staatsapparat. Der totalitäre Staatsapparat? Der Apparatschik? Seit Verabschiedung der bipolaren Weltordnung, ruft die Verbindung der Wörter Staat und Apparat seltsame Nicht-Erinnerungen, weil meist nie selbst erlebte, an Fünfjahrespläne, Arbeitserfüllungsquoten und weit verzweigte Labyrinthe kahler, mit Linoleum ausgelegter Korridore hervor; und hinter jeder Tür, dahinten am tiefen Ende jedes Spanholzschreibtisches ein Mann vom Apparat.

Im daran anschließenden Denken ist der Apparat für den einzelnen Bürger einerseits ein Außen, übergestülpt, die Gottmaschine, die alles am Laufen hält, verbunden mit kafkaesken Vorstellungen von Unübersichtlichkeit, Unadressierbarkeit und Unbeeinflussbarkeit. Andererseits ist der Apparat höhere Vorsehung, in welche der Bürger eingeordnet ist, die er als Zahnrad oder Dichtungsring oder Schraube und so weiter in reibungs- und verlustfreier Bewegung hält, allerdings ohne seine genaue Funktion oder seinen genauen Platz in Beziehung zu den anderen Teilen des Apparats zu kennen.

Die westliche Kunst- und Kulturszene erwartet aus jenen Regionen der Welt, denen man im ersten Schritt zuschreibt, nach dieser Logik des Apparates zu verfahren, im zweiten Schritt eine dissidente Kunst, die doch bitte erkennt, wie schlimm das alles ist, für die Freiheit des Individuums und die Selbstbestimmung und die dann – aus diesem Akt der vermeintlichen Erkenntnis nach den Maßstäben und zur Bestätigung einer schon lange kommerzialisierten Selbstfindungs-Metaphysik heraus – eine Geste des Protests, des individuellen Aufstands gegen das System inszeniert. Erst das Zahnrad, das plötzlich bemerkt, dass es eingesperrt und benutzt ist, aber ja gar nicht weiß was es ist und warum überhaupt, und dann der einsame Stinkefinger der Selbsterkenntnis vor den grauen Toren des Systems. Ai Weiwei kann nun auch nichts dafür, dass er berühmt geworden ist und herhalten muss als der gute Dissident, der die gute kritische Kunst zu machen hat; nach Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion war halt noch China übrig. Das Effiziente an dieser Logik der westlichen Selbstbestätigung über den Umweg der Selbstkritik der Anderen ist, dass sie im Abstand zu dem verschwommenen Dort beinahe jede künstlerische Position zu einer ihr gemäßen individualistischen Kritik umdeuten oder reduzieren kann. In regelmäßigen Abständen adoptiert auch das sogenannte Arthouse-Kino einen Film aus Russland oder China oder dem Iran, um ihn nach dieser Logik zu verwerten und seinem treuen Publikum einen wohligen lau-kalten Schauer über den Rücken zu jagen.

Ai Weiwei - Stinkefinger

Ai Weiwei zeigt den Stinkefinger.

I am not Madame Bovary von Feng Xiaogang scheint sich auf den ersten Blick dieser Praxis anzubiedern, so wie etwa Andrey Zvyagintsev es mit seinem Kritikerliebling Leviathan tat, der bereits für ein westliches Publikum gemacht schien und sich schon selbst, ohne dass viel nachzuhelfen nötig gewesen wäre, im Honigtopf für Dissidenten ertränkt hatte (Patrick hat dazu einen anderen Ansatz). Die junge Li Xuelian (Fan Bingbing) wurde von ihrem Mann betrogen und kämpft sich nun mutig, aber erfolglos, durch die Institutionen des chinesischen Rechtssystems: für Gerechtigkeit … oder für Wiedergutmachung? Oder für Rache? Oder aus Zerstörungslust? Oder einfach um zu gewinnen? Beim Versuch auf einen Begriff zu bringen, beginnen schon die so notwendigen Probleme, die den Film davor bewahren könnten, verwurstet zu werden, aber wahrscheinlich ebenso davor bewahren werden in Deutschland überhaupt gezeigt zu werden. I am not Madame Bovary lässt sich nicht auflösen in einen psychologischen Realismus, welcher den Selbstbestätigungsmechanismen stets am gelegensten kommt, weil er das Individuum, so hart es auch attackiert wird, stets als seinen Mittelpunkt behauptet. Lue Xuelian ist nicht diese vollkommen transparente Version einer jungen, starken Frau, die ihre marginalisierte Stellung in der Gesellschaft schmerzhaft beigebracht bekommt und daraus die unheimliche Kraft für ihren Kampf zieht. Wir haben es nicht mit der Geschichte einer Bewusstwerdung zu tun, die in all ihren Motivationsmomenten offengelegt wird und so auf eine erwartbare Identifikation hin angelegt ist. Li Xuelian ist eine einfache Frau vom Land, die einfach nicht zu verstehen ist. Sie berät sich mit ihrem Ochsen über ihr weiteres Vorgehen, schleift ein großes Messer unten am Wasser, will töten und ist dann wieder ganz ruhig. Die streng und total kadrierten Bilder des ersten Teils geben immer wieder Momente der Distanzierung und, durch das ikonische kreisrunde Münzformat des Bildes,  Momente der mythischen Aufladung der Figur Li Xuelian. In einigen Einstellungen erinnert sie an eine Rächerin aus der Sagenwelt, der jegliche psychologische Motivation äußerlich ist, die handelt aus Funktion oder aus einem Trieb, der tiefer liegt als das Kausalpsychische.

Vieles über diese Frau bleibt im Dunkeln, immer wieder verlieren wir sie für lange Zeit aus den Augen und der Film vertieft sich stattdessen in die Institutionen, die ihre wahre Mühe mit ihr haben und von der lebendigen Vielzahl ihrer Motivationen und Handlungen genauso überrascht sind wie wir. In der Gegenüberstellung von Individuum und Institution wird am deutlichsten, wo der Film den Mechanismen eines dissidenten Kinos ausbricht. Er teilt nicht auf in einander äußerliche Sphären, selbstverständlich auch nicht in Gut und Böse. Es stehen sich hier nicht das Individuum und die graue Masse des Apparates gegenüber, deren Motivationen und Handlungen unvereinbaren Welten zugehörig sind. Genauso wie die Figur der Lue Xuelian privatpsychologische (die enttäuschte Liebe) mit institutionellen (die Scheinscheidung und ihre Hintergründe in Politik und Arbeit) und mythischen (eine alte Beleidigung, ein Fluch der gesühnt werden muss) Motivationen verwebt, erreichen die Männer der Institutionen teilweise eine starke Individualisierung (der besudelte Justizchef, der in der letzten Szene des Films wiederauftaucht), beweisen in ihrer Rede immer wieder ausgeprägte Vernunft (der hohe Vorsitzende beim nationalen Parteikongress) und sogar Empathie (der Gouverneur am Ende); aber eben auch in anderen Szenen das Gegenteil.

Eine nicht überblickbare Vielzahl von Mechanismen und Motivationen greifen in diesem Film ineinander, deren Verhältnisse – und vielleicht ist das, um sich von einem festlegenden dissidenten Kino abzugrenzen, noch wichtiger als die einfach quantitative Unübersichtlichkeit  – in jedem Aufeinandertreffen von Lue Xuelian und den Funktionären, aber auch in jedem Treffen der Funktionäre untereinander neu ausgehandelt werden. I am not Madame Bovary nimmt die Kontingenz und Widersprüchlichkeit des ewig zu verhandelnden gesellschaftlichen Lebens auf in seine durchaus kritische Betrachtung des chinesischen Rechtssystems und entgeht dadurch – hoffentlich – der Gefahr der Aneignung durch den westlichen Selbstbestätigungsapparat.

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