A new television drama series on the life of Canadian doctor
Norman Bethune, who treated Red Army soldiers on the battle front
and died after cutting his finger during surgery, will be shown on
China Central Television (CCTV) this summer.
The 20-episode TV biography of the man many say is the most
famous foreigner to have lived in China will be broadcast on CCTV
Channel 1 in August, said Yang Yang, the series director.
The production began shooting last March and was filmed in China
"We will take viewers to the small Canadian town of Gravenhurst
in northern Ontario where Dr. Bethune was born. The cast includes
more than 100 Westerners," said Yang.
Bethune is played by Canadian actor Trevor Hayes.
Dr. Bethune is widely known in China and still garners deep
respect from Chinese who readily relate Canada to the
accomplishments of Bethune.
He came to China in 1938 during China's war of resistance
against Japanese aggress and set up a front-line mobile hospital
where he operated on wounded soldiers and is credited with saving
thousands of lives.
While performing surgery, he cut his finger, resulting in blood
poisoning which he died from. He died in Tangxian's Huangshikou
Late Chairman Mao Zedong eulogized Bethune for his noble,
selfless work and service in an article published on December 21,
1939. For decades, China's school children studied the eulogy, and
many people can still recite it. China's highest award in medicine
is called the "Bethune Award".
"Chinese see Dr. Bethune as a great man, but few know him well.
His passion, his spirit of internationalism and his utter devotion
to others are his legacy and that will all be seen in the TV
drama," said the director.
(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2006)