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Movie Starts Filming on Deng Xiaoping's Love

A motion picture began shooting in Shanghai to reflect the saga of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in his 20s from May 10.

According to Li Xiepu, the director, the film "Deng Xiaoping in 1928" will for the first time cover the love story of Deng Xiaoping and his first wife Zhang Xiyuan.

Deng Xiaoping was only 24 years of age in 1928. He married Zhang, his schoolmate when he studied at a university in Moscow, and the couple lived with Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao, Zhou's wife, in a small building in a Shanghai foreign settlement area.

Zhou was the sainted long-standing leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and became in 1949 the first premier of the People's Republic of China till his death in 1976.

Later in 1928, Deng left his wife when he was sent to work in south China's Guangxi region. She died the next year at the age of 24, leaving nothing but a picture of herself.

The director said the film will be different from the previous one covering Deng's whole life. It will mainly concentrate on Deng 's preparatory efforts to send CPC top leaders safely to Moscow to attend the sixth CPC congress. It was a hard mission and a test for Deng because the congress was forced to convene in Russia due to a fatal failure in battles against the then Kuomintang.

The movie will also depict Deng's narrow escape with his life during a touch-and-go dangerous time, the director said.

An Rongsheng, an actor looking like Deng in his younger years, will be cast as the movie's hero, according to the director. The movie was funded by Shanghai Film Group.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Deng's birth. His birthday falls on Aug. 22, and the country is expected to hold a wide variety of activities to commemorate the farseeing statesman who launched China's reform and opening-up drive in the late 1970s.

(People's Daily  May 12, 2004)

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