Korean War film debuts on Martyrs’ Day, topping box office

A poster of the movie The Battle of Changjin Lake shown in a cinema. Photo: VCG

The highly anticipated Chinese war epic film The Battle of Changjin Lake on the Korean War (1950-1953) debuted in the country on Thursday, coinciding with the eighth day of China’s martyrdom on September 30, which commemorates Chinese national heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect the homeland.

Box office revenue for the film, directed by Chen Kaige and two Hong Kong directors, Dante LAM Chiu-Yin and Tsui Hark, topped 100 million yuan ($ 15.4 million) about five hours after opening and easily eclipsed that of the 2020 Chinese War. epic The eight hundred.

The film’s gross box office currently stands at 200 million yuan at 9 p.m. Thursday night. The associated hashtag has been viewed over 300 million times on China’s Sina Weibo Twitter.

The film tells the story of how the Chinese People’s Volunteer (CPV) soldiers stood their ground amid the fierce cold and the enemy’s most advanced weapons in the war to resist American aggression and help Korea (1950-1953), according to the information available on the plot.

The stories of the growth of two Chinese soldiers are central to the film. The main characters were played by Wu Jing, director and star of the Wolf Warrior franchise, and Jackson Yee in the school bullying-themed film Better Days, which was nominated for the 93rd Academy Awards.

In Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province, the Global Times reached out to the very first group of moviegoers, some of whom have voiced their views.

“For me, the story goes beyond the war itself, because it shows the resilience of the Chinese nation,” commented a viewer of the real battle-based movie.

Changjin Lake (also known as Chosin Reservoir by many) is located in North Korea. In November 1950, United Nations forces marched north to the Yalu River on the border between China and North Korea, claiming to win the war before Christmas.

The war was fought in an extremely cold winter with a temperature of around -40 ° C. The soldiers of the CPV not only needed to fight against the United Nations forces, but also had to fight for nature with their strong will.

The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army faced off against the American contingent stationed near the lake and won the battle by battling impossible obstacles. The Battle of Changjin Lake became a pivotal moment in “the war on US aggression and aid to Korea,” a term used to refer to Chinese participation in the Korean War.

“Many details, including battle scenes and depictions of soldiers on both sides, gave me a strong impression of this battle. Not everyone wanted to be involved in a war, but they had to for a cause. justified. “

Cast of the stand of the film in silent tribute.  Photo: Courtesy of Bona Film

Cast of the stand of the silent tribute film. Photo: Courtesy of Bona Film

Many theaters in Zhengzhou were already full by 7 p.m. Thursday. The Global Times has noticed that tickets for this film on many online platforms are not available for purchase over the next few days with a significant holiday period around the corner.

A preview audience member nicknamed Xu from Beijing gave it an eight out of 10 and told the Global Times about the “exceptional part” of the film, which he said is quite different from a lot of other war movies he’s watched. .

Xu thinks the film portrays a touching story from a big picture during the war.

“On the one hand, the film gives an explanation of the need for the involvement of our volunteer army in this war. On the other, from a rather small perspective, it tells the story of a young man who is passed from a boy to a true warrior, “, which allowed audiences to become more involved in the film.

“We need more movies like this, a movie telling us not only about the war, but more fresh and bloody war stories, a true story reflecting Chinese resilience in every battle.”

The three-hour film struck a chord with audiences, with audience members expressing their lingering impressions of the film.

“It’s a big battle. Success and heroic stories can’t be summed up in three hours,” said a Weibo surfer who also concluded the first cinematic journey.

About 180,000 Chinese soldiers sacrificed their lives on the Korean Peninsula battlefield, according to official statistics. The cast of the film, including major cast, visited a martyrs memorial park in Shenyang, northeast China’s Liaoning Province on Thursday, the special day to commemorate the heroes, the newspaper reported. Paper.

An employee of Bona Film, the production company behind the film, shared a group of photos with the Global Times, showing the actors in line standing in silent tribute to the martyrs in the park, and said the memorial park is a must. go up for the casting of the film.

The cost of the film exceeded 1.3 billion yuan, making it the most expensive film in Chinese history. More than 70,000 people have been hired as extras in some of the biggest battle scenes, according to Tencent News.

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