LIFE / CULTURE
Highly rated Korean War TV series becomes hit with focus on touching stories from the battlefield
Published: Feb 02, 2021 02:13 PM

A Chinese actor plays Qiu Shaoyun, who got trapped in the fire and burned to death to protect others during the Korean War, in the TV series Going Across the Yalu River. Photo: Courtesy of Junhe Media


Behind-the-scenes footage from a Chinese TV series about the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), also known as the Korean War, Going Across the Yalu River, was aired on Sunday, making audiences touched again and recall the epic series that came to an end on January 24.

The 40-episode series follows the Chinese People's Volunteer Army as it entered the war, and it finished airing on January 24.

The war broke out in June 1950, and when forces led by the US crossed the 38th parallel and brought an imminent threat to China, the People's Volunteer Army joined the war in October that year, allying with Democratic People's Republic of Korea to defend the homeland and thus secure the safety of the newly founded People's Republic of China.

The series has been rated 8.7/10 on China's popular media review platform Douban.

"I watched the TV series with my father and grandfather. Each episode brought me to tears. Our People's Volunteer Army were heroes and should be remembered forever," one netizen commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

One poster of TV series Going Across the Yalu River Photo: Courtesy of Junhe Media


The footage released on Sunday shows the cast filming various scenes, including moments on the battlefield.

Chairman Mao Zedong's son Mao Anying died during the Korean War. The series showed the scene when general Peng Dehuai came back to Beijing and told Chairman Mao what had happened to his son, giving his remains to him at the same time.

Mao took his son's watch and put it next to his ear, saying that he could feel his son still alive and beside him. The scene was considered very moving by viewers.

Restoring history and making audiences feel that it is real are important for this kind of TV series, Shi Wenxue, cultural critic and teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times on Monday.

"To create a brilliant work about war like this, character shaping should be full and credible, storytelling should have proper structure and appropriate rhythm, and the production team should lay out plenty of details to enrich the whole work," Shi added.

The drama was not well received in South Korea, with some local media reports asking the government to protest about the broadcast of the show to the Chinese government.

Chinese netizens said the South Korean media should learn more about history.
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