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Thread: Jianguo Daye (Lofty Ambitions of Founding a Republic)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Jianguo Daye (Lofty Ambitions of Founding a Republic)

    Jet & Jackie together again? What a follow up to Forbidden Kingdom this would be...
    China's birthday movie has many seeing red
    By Wu Zhong, China Editor

    HONG KONG - In China, a novel, a movie or a song is often considered to bear political and ideological implications, and publication of fiction or the making of a movie is subject to examination and approval by the authorities. Now a new movie is provoking a tumult of narrow-minded nationalism that runs deep in Chinese society and is on the rise as China gains self-confidence.
    The view that the arts are a vehicle for politics originated in the late 1950s, when Chairman Mao Zedong said anti-party elements were using novels to oppose the party. The idea was taken to an extreme during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when virtually all fiction publications and movies produced previously were banned as "anti-revolutionary".

    China's political and ideological environment has undergone fundamental changes since the end of the Cultural Revolution, thanks to late leader Deng Xiaoping's reforms and open-door policy. Today, writers and movie producers enjoy much greater freedom, and the standards of the authorities' "examination and approval" processes have become comparatively much more lax, though censorship is still imposed.

    But this decades-old suspicion of the arts has had a lasting influence on the Chinese people, with some still "censoring" works from a political or ideological perspective.

    The current stir is over whether ethnic Chinese actors and actresses holding foreign passports should be allowed to appear in a film marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

    The movie, Jianguo Daye (Lofty Ambitions of Founding a Republic), is about preparations to found the PRC in 1949. After Japan's surrender in 1945 at the end of World War II, a civil war broke out on mainland China between troops controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the ruling Kuomintang (KMT).

    In three years, communist troops had swept into control of most areas of the mainland. In 1949, the CCP moved its headquarters to Beijing in preparation for the founding of a new republic to replace the KMT's Republic of China (ROC), which fled to the island of Taiwan. The new movie tries to recreate this historic event.

    The 30 million yuan (US$4.39 million) movie is produced by the state-owned China Film Group and directed by its chairman and chief executive, Han Sanping. It is scheduled for release on September 17, two weeks ahead of the 60th birthday of the PRC on October 1.

    It is expected to be a big hit. As China grows stronger, patriotic and nationalistic sentiments are on the rise, and the film will tap into this. Given the movie's likely popularity, just about every Chinese actor - from superstar to starlet - wanted a role.

    According to Jianguo Daye's official website, over 170 Chinese actors and actresses, including many superstars, have been signed up. An envious Hong Kong film director said, "It would be a director's lifetime dream to direct a film starring just a few of these stars. But Jianguo Daye has them all."

    Many of the major roles are key historical figures, such as Mao and Zhou Enlai, the first premier of the PRC, and the stars are clamoring to be a part of this action. These include kung fu superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li, one of the best-known Chinese actresses, Zhang Ziyi, Hong Kong actor, comedian, screenwriter and film director Stephen Chow and another Hong Kong celebrity, actor and producer Andy Lau. Directors John Woo, Feng Xiaogang and Chen Kaige are also willing to play cameo parts, even if only for a few seconds.

    The fuss began after the producer publicized the cast of Jainguo Daye, with bloggers claiming that more than 20 of the actors were not Chinese nationals but foreign passport holders. This immediately provoked uproar among China's netizens,

    "It is a new march into China by the allied forces of a foreign power to celebrate the birthday of our republic," one wrote on, an entertainment website, alluding to the invasion of China by the Eight-Power Allied Forces in 1900.

    Major state-controlled media such as Xinhua and China Youth Daily soon joined the debate, publishing critical commentaries. Follow-up reports in state-run media found that nine actors could be confirmed as being naturalized foreign nationals, while some were Hong Kong residents who may still be considered Chinese nationals.

    Jet Li, for one, has recently bought a luxury house in Singapore and become a Singaporean. Shanghai-born actress Wu Junmei, who plays May-ling Soong (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) in the movie, director Chen Kaige, and actress Ning Jing are all US passport holders.

    What particularly angers some of the public and the media is that many stars simply evade the question of nationality. Wu Junmei is frank in this regard. Grilled by the media, she admitted she was an American citizen but added, "Nationality is just a symbol which does not change the nature of one being Chinese."

    Her statement only drew more harsh criticism. The allegiance of the Chinese-turned foreigners is in question. Some commentators say that when one becomes a naturalized American citizen, one must pledge allegiance to the flag, giving up loyalty to one's original nation. So how could these people still claim they are patriotic to China?

    Such criticism is familiar to those who experienced the Cultural Revolution, when anything could be raised to the plane of high principle. It demonstrates how narrow-minded nationalism can be easily become xenophobia.

    It is personal freedom of choice for a Chinese, celebrity or not, to become a naturalized citizen of another nation. For its part, China now opens its doors wide to foreign businesses and foreigners are welcome to invest and do business in the country. Some Chinese provinces even invite foreigners to be advisers to local governments.

    So why should ethnic Chinese artists who are naturalized foreign citizens be banned from playing characters in a Chinese movie like Jianguo Daye, which is not a historical documentary but a piece of creative work? It's not as if their acting would change a chapter of Chinese history.

    Weng Li, a spokesman for the China Film Group, is perfectly right. In answering media inquiries, Weng said: "The major reason for choosing an actor is not which country he is from, but whether he is suitable for and able to play the character."

    It is also good to see that some Chinese commentators and bloggers remain cool in the face of growing nationalistic sentiment. "Who cares who will play in the movie? As long as it is good, I'll go see it," said one blogger on "For ours to become a truly open society, our minds must also become open, not just our borders," said another.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    a million free tickets

    It's a party in Beijing. A communist party!
    Beijing plugs patriotic films ahead of anniversary
    (AFP) 1 day ago

    BEIJING Beijing cinemas will hand out nearly a million free movie coupons to encourage citizens to watch patriotic films as China tries to foster love of country ahead of the nation's 60th birthday.

    State-run Xinhua news agency said movie-goers who buy a regular ticket from September 1-20 will be given one of the coupons.

    The give-away period corresponds with the release of patriotically themed domestic films such as "Jianguo Daye", which chronicles the founding of communist China, in the run-up to National Day on October 1.

    The film, featuring a raft of mainland Chinese and Hong Kong movie stars such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan, is set for release on September 17.

    China has begun a security clampdown to prevent any disturbances to what it intends to be a glorious celebration of the day 60 years ago when Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China.

    China will mobilise even more security for the 60th anniversary celebrations than the 100,000 police officers, soldiers and special forces deployed during the Olympic Games in Beijing in August last year, according to reports.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    this is a tough one.

    the founding of the new republic or people's republic is supposed to help the poor and the farmers or the have not

    however, it was not a success story of 60 years.

    one has to deduct the years of great leap forward and the infamous cultural revolution.

    let us see, 1958-1961, 1966-1976. give or take 60-15=45.

    during those years of fake production increases, shipping real food to rot in the city warehouse, when millions of farmers eat tree roots and wild herbs.

    farmers were melting cooking wares and farming tools to produce "steel" day and night on make up "refineries", then who is doing the farming, with no tools,--

    cultural revolution---

    yes all the possible Mao"s successors were removed. Lin Biao was used to get rid of Peng Zheng (mayor of beijing), Liu Xao Qi, --- and then Lin Biao died in a plane crash--

    Mao was depressed since there were no more enemies or opponents till he passed away.

    these facts are known to every Chinese on the planet whether they are willing to say it in public or not is another thing.


    history will be remembered and true stories will be told one way or another.

    Communist ideologies went bankrupt.

    CPC always used patriotism to gain public support.


  4. #4
    If the movie is about civil war from 1945 to 1949, then it is worth to see.

    but most people will be bored.

    not me.

    but if the movie is about 60 years of communist rule.

    1. under mao 1949-1976

    2. under deng 1979-1992

    3. under jiang 1993-

    4. under hu wen


    I dunno?

    how much truth will be told?

  5. #5
    It will be too emotional for me to watch.

    since many of my relatives fought the domestic battles from 1946 to 1949.


    I heard many personal stories about the period growing up in Taiwan.

    such as at Xia Men, there were 150,000 nationalist troops waiting for ships to retreat to Taiwan, the ships never came, so they surrendered to communist troops of 1500 men.

    3 regiments of communists landed on Jin Men, they were defeated on oct, 1949.

    thus the security of Taiwan was "assured".


    Nan Jing was evacuted, a light infantry scout column moved across the longest river, and took over the Presidential Hall with no resistence.


    Shang Hai was supposed to be defended for 6 months. 10 days of conflicts on the outskirts, the troops were withdrawn, except one army. the survived soldiers complained that no withdrawal orders for them. General Tang Eng Bo was only criticised in Taiwan. He passed away in Japan.


    on and on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    I'm strangely drawn to this film

    I love playing 'spot the cameo'. I also find 'propaganda' films fascinating.
    China injects star power into anniversary film
    By MIN LEE (AP) 1 hour ago

    HONG KONG China's staid cultural commissars are turning to the likes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, hoping that an injection of star power into a state-funded movie about the communist revolution will attract young Chinese normally turned off by government propaganda.

    "Jian Guo Da Ye," or "The Founding of a Republic," which opens in two weeks, was commissioned to mark the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic on Oct. 1. In retelling the tale of communist triumph known to all Chinese, the movie's cast reads like a "Who's Who" of the Chinese film industry. Besides Chan and Li, there's Zhang Ziyi of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger," Stephen Chow of "Kung Fu Hustle" and action picture director John Woo, among many others.

    The inclusion of the stars many of whom make nothing more than brief cameos highlights the Communist Party propaganda czars' increasing recognition that to get the attention of the iPod-toting, Nike-wearing set, they'll have to put out a slicker product.

    Not long ago, China's state-supported film and TV studios turned out exclusively predictable fare on tight budgets, often focusing on dowdy revolutionary heroes who were decidedly out of sync with the well-dressed singing idols and action stars coming out of trendsetting South Korea or Westernized Hong Kong. Chinese stars who made it in Hong Kong or Hollywood mostly kept the mainland industry at arm's length.

    But as entertainment options have multiplied in China's booming economy from big Hollywood releases to pirated DVDs to YouTube-style video-sharing Web sites the Communist Party's Propaganda Department has been forced to adapt to get its message across to reach savvy youngsters normally disdainful of official media.

    Meanwhile, ethnic Chinese filmmakers who made good abroad are sensing the huge potential of the mainland market and know it's politically smart to get on board with the anniversary film to ensure future success. While still small compared to the U.S., the Chinese box office is growing rapidly fueled by a flurry of movie theater construction, surging more than 30 percent to 4.3 billion Chinese yuan ($630 million) in 2008. U.S. box office revenues reached nearly $9.8 billion last year.

    After 16 years in Hollywood, Woo returned to China two years ago to make the $80 million two-part historical epic "Red Cliff." Chan and Li's 2008 kung fu film "The Forbidden Kingdom" was a U.S.-Chinese co-production shot in eastern China. And Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee agreed to edit a line in his 2007 spy thriller "Lust, Caution" to make it less obvious that a lead character helps a Chinese traitor in Japanese-occupied Shanghai conforming with official sensibilities of patriotism.

    "The Founding of a Republic" is unusual because it "combines the core of an 'ethically inspiring' film" code for propaganda films "and commercial packaging," said Gao Jun, deputy general manager of the New Film Association, one of China's top multiplex chains.

    Gao said he and fellow theater owners expect a hit because its sheer celebrity power will help draw young viewers. But don't expect them to be wooed by the rhetoric, he said.

    "They won't pay attention to anything else. They'll just be counting the stars," he said.

    Already the film is generating buzz, but not all of it welcome. An online debate has focused on whether some of the big stars had acquired foreign passports and were therefore unfit to appear in a patriotic movie. "Farewell My Concubine" director Chen Kaige, who has a walk-on as an enemy general, was said to be a U.S. citizen and Li a Singaporean.

    Chen denied he had switched citizenship while at a film awards ceremony in Beijing last weekend. Without addressing his nationality directly, Li was quoted by Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po as saying recently, "no matter where I go, my heart will always remain in the motherland."

    "The Founding of a Republic" was commissioned by the main film regulator and made by the powerful state-owned China Film Group, which is involved in most major productions on the mainland and controls the import of foreign films. The movie will be released nationwide on Sept. 17 with 2,000 prints of the film, nearly one for every two of China's 4,100 screens.

    Film Group chairman Han Sanping, who co-directed with Huang Jianxin, personally asked some of the celebrities to take part. "Everyone has to show their respect if Grandpa San asks," Woo's regular producing partner, Terence Chang, said, referring to Han by his nickname.

    Hence, many of the stars in the movie worked for free, helping keep the movie's budget to a modest 60 million yuan ($8.8 million) to 70 million yuan ($10 million), said China Film Group spokesman Weng Li.

    But rumor has it that audiences will have to pay close attention to catch all of the appearances. The lead roles like revolutionary leader Mao Zedong will be played by lesser known actors.

    Chan, the world's best-known ethnic Chinese star, plays an unnamed journalist, reportedly only delivering a few lines. "Crouching Tiger" star Zhang Ziyi is an unidentified representative from the cultural sector. Woo's character shows up in one of the trailers but was left out of the final cut, producer Chang said.

    Still, agents and representatives of the stars said it's enough to be seen. "Every actor and every director will feel very honored if he or she could take part in this movie," said Huang Bin, the agent for director Chen.

    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
    yes. my brothers and I will get a copy of dvd once it is released.

    there are 3 ways to look at events in 1949.

    1. politically: mao was able to rally all democratic fronts and people to his side and work against Chiang--

    2. militarily: Lin Biao success in the northeast had turn the tide into Mao's favor--

    3. small people: superinflation, devaluation of jin yuan juan gold dollar bill, shortage of food and goods due to floods, draughts, civil war--

    in communist "liberated" area, farmers had foods.

    in nationalist ruling area or guo tong qu, life was just unbearable, with collapse of economics, any war efforts against the commie were unsustainable.

    US stopped all aids to Chiang. Chiang was forced to "Step down". Li zhong ren assumed the acting presidency to conduct a peact talk in april and failed.

    in the new year address, Mao wrote revolution will be completed fully and not halfway, ge ming yao gang dao di. meaning no peace talk. Mao will topple the government in nanjing before any rest.



    the rest is history.

    we will see how much truth will be told in the film.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up

    TV show about Teresa Teng or Deng Li Jun starting pop songs in China in the 70s and 80s.

    The void created by 10 years of cultural revolution was quickly filled with Teresa Teng.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SPJ View Post
    TV show about Teresa Teng or Deng Li Jun starting pop songs in China in the 70s and 80s.

    The void created by 10 years of cultural revolution was quickly filled with Teresa Teng.

    I meant the political yoke was lifted. Chinese culture quickly took root or came back and bloomed or flourished on the mainland once again.

  10. #10
    what I meant to say is that

    not political propaganda

    not reiteration of military conflicts


    but mentioning of culture restoration on the mainland.

    chinese culture binds chinese on both sides of taiwan strait together.

    despite of 60 years of political separation.

    we are flowing the same blood and share the same cultural and historical roots/heritage.

    thus we must work together to iron out political differences peacefully

    and become one nation again in some points in the future.

    etc etc

    tong gen tong yuan: we are of the same roots and from the same sources.

    both in culture and in blood.

  11. #11

  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    Jet Li played a nationalist navy officer.

  13. #13

    Zhang guo li played CKS.

    3 things to overcome.

    1. lose weight.

    2. personality

    3. zhe jiang accent.

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Jackie Chan played a reporter.

    steven chow unable to play a role.

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