'Mao Zedong 1949' revisits founding of People's Republic of China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 9, 2019
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The star-studded cast and crew of "Mao Zedong 1949" pose for a photo at the premiere of the film in Beijing, Sept. 8, 2019. [Photo courtesy of Bona Film Group]

A new film will focus on the stories of Chairman Mao Zedong and many other revolutionary heroes from high-level founding fathers to grass-root soldiers during the dawning period of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

"Mao Zedong 1949" will revisit history on the eve of the People's Republic of China which was founded on Oct. 1, 1949. This year marks its 70th anniversary and there will be a lot of films and TV series celebrating the country.

"Initially, we thought it couldn't be done, " said Yu Dong, Bona Film Group chairman. "But as more and more talents got on board, the film has become a top-class production."

The top film executive predicted the film could gross more than 800 million yuan ($112 million), which would make it the highest among similar films in the genre. 

Huang Jianxin, who has plenty of Chinese classics under his belt such as "The Founding of a Republic" and "Beginning of The Great Revival," serves as both director and executive producer for the film. He said the cast and crew were working tirelessly on the project.

"We had only 67 days to shoot the film, it was tense," Huang said. But he insisted making this film as fresh as it can be and hopes to touch the audience's hearts.

"Mao Zedong 1949" will showcase how the People's Republic of China's founding fathers, particularly Mao Zedong, prepare to establish the people's republic at a villa in Beijing's Fragrant Hills. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) mapped the plan there.

Huang said it was the first version of the script, written by famous Chinese screenwriter He Jiping, that ignited the passion of the whole crew of the film.

"Mao Zedong 1949" focuses not only on revolutionary leaders and Beijing, but also on the common and young soldiers who fought the last epic Yangtze River crossing battle campaign in Nanjing.

Huang said the film makes the legends of revolutionary heroes more human and all those stories can emotionally resonate with the audience. He co-directed the film with director Ning Haiqiang.

Tang Guoqiang, an actor who has portrayed Mao Zedong in various TV series and films over the past decades, said he felt as he learned more about the spiritual world of Mao, his admiration for the great man grew.

It is worth noting that the imagery of the founding ceremony of a state in the film was restored and enhanced from black-and-white historic video materials in 1949, and the scene was colored to show audiences the realness and magnificence of the event.

"Mao Zedong 1949" will be released on Sept. 20 and have a few advanced screenings starting Sept. 12 before the whole nation embarks on the holiday to mark the 70th National Day on Oct. 1. 

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