'China's Victory Trilogy' unveiled at Shanghai film festival

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 13, 2021
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China's leading film company Bona Film Group shared more insights about its "China's Victory Trilogy," on Saturday during the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Yu Dong (6th L, front), chairman of Bona Film Group and creators of "China's Victory Trilogy" pose for a photo on stage at a press conference held during the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai, June 12, 2021. [Photo courtesy of MicroEnt]

The three films in the trilogy — "Chinese Doctors," "The Battle at Lake Changjin" and "The Unknown" — are not connected by their respective stories, but by a theme celebrating China's triumphs in history and the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

"Chinese Doctors" directed by Andrew Lau and starring Zhang Hanyu, Yuan Quan and Li Chen, tells stories how China's medical workers fought against the COVID-19 pandemic last year. It is mainly set in the hospitals of Wuhan, former epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Zhang's role in the movie is based on Zhang Dingyu, head of Wuhan's Jinyintan Hospital and a recipient of the honorary title of "People's Hero." The actor said: "You don't really know how much pressure he shouldered during the time when the virus crisis initially broke out, and how he decided to take in and treat more than 2,000 patients. He's a hero in my heart."

Actress Yuan Quan said it was an honor to be involved in the project and felt so deeply for the doctors while filming. "I can feel what they felt: Even though everything about the virus was unknown at that time, they spared no efforts."

"The Battle at Lake Changjin" is the biggest war epic in recent years setting new records in terms of production scale and investment scale, time span, and the size of the cast, producer Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group, said at the press conference. "This film was very difficult to make not only due to its complexity and epic scale, but also due to the COVID-19 outbreak."

Thus, this epic project has to be jointly directed by three celebrated Chinese filmmakers Chen Kaige, Hark Tsui and Dante Lam. "Chen maintains the historical keynote for the film because he is very familiar with the war history, while Tsui is boldly creative and Lam is really great and aggressive in production. It will be a peak of Chinese film history," Yu said, noting the three directors gave full play to their skills, advantages and merits.

Director Chen Kaige said it was an honor to put this important historical event onto the big screen. Tsui noted that they tried to display the faith of the soldiers and the cruelty of war. Lam said that it was a long journey to finish the film and he believed it definitely set records, but was very worthwhile for everyone involved who putting all their hearts and souls into this project.

"The Battle at Lake Changjin" stars famous actors Wu Jing, Jackson Yee, Duan Yihong and Zhu Yawen, and about 70,000 extras were used in the war scenes. It took the crew five years to polish the script and two years to prepare for shooting. It completed filming in May and entered post-production. 

Set in Shanghai from November 1937 to August 1945, the spy film "The Unknown" revolves around a group of revolutionary heroes in Shanghai who risked their lives to protect the country and people. Director Cheng Er said the efforts and sacrifice of these underground heroes would be portrayed in a detailed manner to show the audience "a world they have never seen."

The film will start shooting in August and most of the movie scenes will be shot in Shanghai. However, the cast has yet to be revealed.

Three posters of "Chinese Doctors," "The Battle at Lake Changjin" and "The Unknown," which form a "China's Victory Trilogy." [Photo courtesy of Bona Film Group]

Yu Dong summarized that the trilogy, which will hit Chinese cinemas within this year, is about Chinese people's courage and unyielding spirit and will in the face of challenges of difficult times. "They will make more young people remember the glory moment of China's victories, and understand how proud we should be as Chinese people," he said.

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