Hsin-Yin Lee, a former associate producer for Worldfocus, is now an international news editor at a Chinese newspaper. She describes a recent film that has Chinese patriots buzzing.
The other day, my friends and I were having a serious discussion: Should we spend our money on “Final Destination 4” or “The Founding of a Republic,” a Chinese film that commemorates the 60th anniversary of China’s Communist revolution?
While struggling between Hollywood sensation and Beijing propaganda seems a little awkward, I did find something interesting when I examined the movie reviews for “The Founding of a Republic.”
Watch the trailer of “The Founding of a Republic”:
This state-funded movie is magnificent in many ways, and here is why:
The two-hour film is clogged up with 176 famous movie stars, including some Hollywood faces like Jackie Chen, Jet Li and Zhang Ziyi. Many of them volunteered for cameo appearances, only to deliver a few words, which helped keep the budget under $9.6 million.
The cast traveled to 90 settings across mainland China, with eight directors working one after another to put the scenes together.
And to get the job done, it took only 120 days.
Such efforts have inspired many people. Chinese blogger “Yu In” urged on CRI, an online news portal, “Let this movie go to the Oscars!”
“Do you think Hollywood could get so many superstars for […] Independence Day?” she doubted. “Only China can achieve this “mission impossible.'”
Probably too agitated by patriotism, some people are “hugely disgusted” by those movie stars who hold American passports.
Blogger “Crystal” asked on Sina.com, another popular portal site, “Why are there so many ‘foreigners’ appearing in our movie?” She said that she felt “ashamed and embarrassed.”
It is true that for many Chinese, disregarding where you are from suggests that you are a bastard. And once you abandon your nationality, there is no way back.
However, as Taiwanese, my friends and I don’t even know if we abandoned Communist China or if it abandoned us. “The Founding of a Republic” might give us some clue — but perhaps “Final Destination 4” might be more substantial.
My friends and I haven’t decided which one to watch. Still, it’s a nice thing to know that there is so much a movie can reveal.
– Hsin Yin Lee