'Iron Road' to show at Canadian Film Day

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 17, 2019
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An international co-production film "Iron Road" will be screened at the National Canadian Film Day (NCFD) which is to kick off Wednesday.

The NCFD, presented by non-profit organization REEL CANADA, is a film festival with more than 800 Canadian film screenings and events expected across the country.

"Iron Road" is to be screened at the cinema of Xinflix Media Inc. in Toronto on Wednesday.

"Iron Road", a literal translation of "railroad" from Chinese into English, symbolizes the interface of the underdog lured by the "Gold Mountain" dream.

It is the first epic film based on the dark era of Chinese-Canadian history at the turn of the late 18th century.

The international cast includes China's Sun Li and American stars Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill, and Canada's own Luke MacFarlane. The film was helmed by Chinese Canadian director David Wu.

"Iron Road" is a touching story of East meets West, and presents a little-known slice of Canadian history, said Zhang Wei, manager of Xinflix Media Inc. on Tuesday.

The story is about a Chinese girl called Little Tiger. Little Tiger sounds like a boy's name because she dresses as a boy to survive in an alpha male society and then she decides to travel and work on building the railroad for one Canadian dollars per day. But mostly, she just wants to find her lost father who everybody believes to be dead.

"Iron Road" featured 30 days of production in China, followed by 10 days in Canadian province of British Columbia.

The beautiful natural landscapes in British Columbia are juxtaposed with human hardships, constant verbal abuses, inhumane living conditions, life-threatening jobs to set explosions to break ground for the rails and isolation from families and loved ones, Zhang said.

She said the human tragedies in the film are painted subtly, with the close-ups of callused hands driving the spikes to secure the rails and the panning across the grave markers dotted along the railroads to signal the Chinese lives lost in the process.

More than 17,000 Chinese workers were recruited to build railroads in Canada and hundreds of them lost their lives.

When the project was completed, then Canadian government started to collect a "Chinese Head Tax" from the workers and their families who settled down there. The tax was later replaced by the "Chinese Exclusion Act."

The events shamed Canada and forced the Canadian government to issue redress and apology to the effected Chinese community in Parliament in 2006, Zhang added. 

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