Roundup: U.S. movie "Civil War" premieres in China amid wide anticipation

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BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- "Civil War," a U.S. movie alluding to political and social divide in the United States, premiered on the Chinese mainland on Friday, joining dozens of productions ahead of this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

Since the movie premiered in the U.S. market in April, it has caught the attention of many Chinese, partly due to its political theme rarely seen in imported movies.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, said some Chinese moviegoers watched this film because they are interested in the United States and hope to better understand the country through this movie.

The conflicts among the various parties in the movie are so intense that effective communication between them is entirely impossible, he said, adding that this actually reflects issues within American society and politics.

For Qi Minghui, a moviegoer and U.S. university graduate, the movie reminded her of the racial inequality, wealth gap, gun violence and partisan politics she observed during her years in the United States. "Although an artistically exaggerated work, the movie mirrors the problems in reality," the 31-year-old auditor said.

Numerous moviegoers are sharing their reviews online. "An insightful film that showcases the division within American society," wrote an internet user named "Yongjia111" on the review platform Douban. On microblogging platform Weibo, "Chendu" commented that "I hope that the United States will not instigate civil wars in other countries and be a model country of immigrants where various races blend well."

Set in the near-future, the movie, written and directed by Alex Garland, follows a group of reporters who travel across the United States as a rapidly escalating civil war engulfs the nation. It features stars including Kirsten Dunst and Wagner Moura.

Rating growing political polarization in the United States as a top-tier threat, the Council on Foreign Relations' 2024 annual Preventive Priorities Survey stated that it leads to acts of domestic terrorism and political violence particularly around the 2024 presidential election.

As many people are still reeling from the Jan. 6, 2021 "storming of the Capitol," a recent incident involving Donald Trump supporters turning U.S. flags upside down to protest the guilty verdict in his hush-money case raised widespread concerns among Americans.

Describing the movie as a warning for future development, Shen Yi, a professor of international studies at Shanghai-based Fudan University, said it depicts the dangers that rising populism poses to the United States, as well as the challenges to the core American spirits such as diversity, unity and solidarity.

It also helps the Chinese people better perceive the contemporary United States and the development of China-U.S. relations, Shen said.

Zhang said that the introduction of indie studio movies had the potential to enrich the domestic film market.

"The vast Chinese market offers abundant opportunities for American films and productions from around the world," he said.

At a sideline event during the Cannes Film Festival in May, Mao Yu, deputy director of the China Film Administration, pledged efforts to introduce more foreign films to the Chinese market. Enditem

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