Instead of pure entertainment or mere artistic creations, Hollywood movies function as propaganda supplements, often by providing a binary image of "good Americans" versus the "hostile others" on US's enemy list. With Iran topping that list for the past 33 years, it is hardly surprising that Hollywood has dutifully dished out a growing number of movies that recycle the enemy image of Iran.

"Every country tries to promote its views using 'soft power' and it's not surprising that China would try to do it as its power increases," he said. "Promoting 'soft power,' even with Hollywood's cooperation, is difficult if a country's policies are too far out of step with prevailing global norms.

Going global is an ambition pursued by Chinese film makers for decades. Yet the reality is Chinese movies make their fame on the world stage largely through Kongfu films. At the ongoing 15th Shanghai International Film Festival, Chinese film makers are trying to tell the world they have more to offer.

The AMC purchase marks the start of what Wanda executives and Chinese officials hope will be an aggressive expansion into Western markets. An article in the state-run propaganda outlet “People’s Daily,” meanwhile, touted aspirations of "exporting the culture" and the regime’s “Going Global” strategy.

Hollywood isn't just about money; it also exerts a quiet cultural power. Joe Biden was right when he credited "Will and Grace" with shifting popular attitudes towards homosexuality. Television has the power to acculturate and acclimatize viewers to social change.

A group of eight Hollywood TV and film stars completed a week-long tour of Israel Sunday as guests of the Tourism Ministry and the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry. The group of actors was led by Rabbi Irwin Katsof, the director of America's Voices in Israel (AVI), which is part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The China Film Group functions as the Chinese government’s guardian of a film market that recently become the world’s second-largest in box-office receipts behind the United States. On a broad array of business dealings — censorship, distribution and co-productions — it is the conduit for foreign moviemakers hoping to make or distribute films in China.

Hollywood has increasingly been looking east, encouraged by the recent relaxation of the quota on foreign films allowed into China and the popularity of Hollywood-made but China-based international blockbusters such as Kung Fu Panda 2.