​Peking Opera films released during Beijing International Film Festival

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, April 27, 2023
Adjust font size:

Four new Peking Opera films from the second round of the "Peking Opera Film" project were released on Tuesday during the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival.

Cast and crew, officials, and guests pose for a group photo at a launch event for four new Peking opera films at the China National Film Museum in Beijing on April 23, 2023. [Photo courtesy of China Film Co., Ltd.]

The four films include director Xia Gang's "Cai Wenji Returns to Her Homeland" and "The You Sisters of the Red Chamber," as well as director Ma Chongjie's "Silang Visits His Mother" and "The Gathering of Heroes: Borrowing the East Wind." The films mark new cinematic entries that celebrate, promote, and document China's traditional opera arts.

The "Peking Opera Film" project has strong support from the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, provincial and municipal publicity departments, and the Peking Opera and film industries. Founded in 2011, the project has grown and developed, with entities such as China Film Co., Ltd. investing tremendous efforts into production and promotion, achieving remarkable achievements.

Ren Yue, deputy general manager of China Film Co., Ltd., at a launch event held at the China National Film Museum in Beijing, said: "In promoting the 'Peking Opera Film' project, Peking Opera artists and filmmakers in China have always upheld a high sense of responsibility and profound professionalism, successfully incubating a series of Peking opera films. In the future, China Film Co., Ltd. will continue to shoulder the mission of promoting traditional culture, disseminating opera art, and cultivating young audiences."

Liu Tong, president of the Jingju Theater, said that the "Peking Opera Film" project, which started in 2011, is a crossover project that promotes the high integration of film and Peking opera arts. Such integration and crossover cooperation will help to jointly promote and witness the development of Chinese film and Peking opera in the new era.

This time, four new Peking opera films were added to the collection at the China National Film Museum. Chen Ling, the museum's director, stated that the "Peking Opera Film" project has helped to leave many valuable artistic materials and legacies for future generations, enriched the history of operatic films, and made significant contributions to the creative transformation and innovative development of traditional Chinese culture.

The filmmakers involved in the project's creation have a deep respect for Peking opera and have actively demonstrated their creativity. For example, renowned director Xia Gang shared many filming experiences at the premieres of his two films, saying, "Every Peking Opera film shoot is a great challenge for me. For example, the story of 'Cai Wenji Returns to Her Homeland' takes place in the grasslands, but it is difficult to show this scenery on the stage. Therefore, I even drove to the grasslands to study it myself and seek inspiration."

Director Ma Chongjie also worked hard to refine his works to capture the charm of the Peking opera. He said, "During the creative process, we aim to maintain the authenticity of the play while presenting the narrative, creating the plot, shaping the characters, and making the visuals more vibrant and enjoyable. This transforms the experience of enjoying opera."

The four posters from the Peking opera films released on April 25, 2023. [Image courtesy of China Film Co., Ltd.]

All four Peking opera films enlisted the participation of some of the most renowned Peking opera masters as directors. "The Gathering of Heroes: Borrowing the East Wind" brought together senior Peking opera artists who delivered outstanding performances. Octogenarian Peking opera master Ye Shaolan expressed his eagerness for the new expression of Peking opera films at the premiere, saying they provide an opportunity to carry on and promote Peking opera, uphold tradition and innovation, and showcase successful cooperation between Peking opera and film.

Another famous Peking opera performer, Zhu Qiang, also shared his touching filming experience, saying: "The main actors in the film have a combined age of over 500 years, but I can feel the enthusiasm that these older-generation artists have for the cause of Peking opera and their spirit of perseverance on the set. I was deeply moved and learned from them."

The four films were released nationwide following their premiere at the Beijing International Film Festival.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter