​'Raid on the Lethal Zone' honors China's border police

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 23, 2023
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Prolific filmmaker Herman Yau's latest film, "Raid on the Lethal Zone," is set for release in theaters, paying homage to China's border defense police as they deal with a drug gang.

Cast and crew of "Raid on the Lethal Zone" pose for a photo holding a banner reading "With you guarding the border, we feel reassured" at the movie's premiere in Beijing, Aug. 20, 2023. [Photo courtesy of Timely Media]

The action-packed film, both heart-wrenching and breathtaking, is set in the late 1990s on China's southwestern border. Based on a true story, it follows the "8077 special combat team" in Yunnan province as they navigate floods and the dangers of nature while taking on a violent gang of drug traffickers. 

Director Yau emphasized during the premiere in Beijing on Aug. 20 that the movie distinguishes itself from his previous action or crime films by depicting a very real story inspired by numerous actual drug busts. He also wanted to showcase the significance of floods.

"When approaching this project, I emphasized the importance of realism throughout the entire film," said Yau. "As a result, I selected young actors who are collaborating with me for the first time. Authenticity played a crucial role, as we discovered that a significant number of border police officers involved in real-life cases were around 20 years old."

Actor Oho Ou also shared some of the lessons he learned from working on the film. "The real challenges faced by border drug enforcement are 100 times more difficult than what is portrayed in the movie," he said. "Yunnan's border police can live up to anyone's expectations."

In order to replicate the authentic working environment of the frontline border drug enforcement officers, the production team recreated natural disasters such as floods and mudslides on set. Actor Jason Gu candidly revealed that the water reached depths of 1.7 meters during the filming of these scenes. 

"With each wave, the entire person would be submerged, creating a highly realistic sensation," said Gu.

Actor Yu Haoming added, " I was nearly overwhelmed by the tons of rushing water. In that moment, I gained an immediate and profound respect for the border police forces."

A movie poster for "Raid on the Lethal Zone." [Image courtesy of iQiyi Pictures]

The audience at the premiere was also touched by the film. One theatergoer commented after watching the film, "We're grateful that these officers sacrifice their lives to protect us and guard the border." A police consultant for the film also praised the movie, saying, "The actual cases are even more brutal than what is portrayed in the movie, but the presentation is very realistic, elevating this film to a new level."

"Raid on the Lethal Zone" will hit screens in China on Aug. 25. Herman Yau has had a busy year, as his film "Death Notice" was recently released nationwide on Aug. 18, while "The White Storm 3: Heaven or Hell" has been in theaters since July. Meanwhile, the director's eagerly anticipated films "Customs Frontline" and "Operation Moscow" are scheduled to be released later this year.

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