ARTS / FILM
Chinese TV series on founding of CPC brings in young viewers by showing charm of Chinese revolutionary pioneers such as Mao Zedong
Published: Mar 09, 2021 08:44 PM
Chinese actor Hou Jingjian acts as Mao Zedong in the TV series. Photo: Courtesy of Lee

Chinese actor Hou Jingjian acts as Mao Zedong in the TV series. Photo: Courtesy of Lee


A Chinese TV series focusing on the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese revolutionary history has stood out from the crowd of romantic and fantasy series by getting rave reviews from young viewers in China. Its recipe for success has been displaying the personal charm of Chinese revolutionary pioneers, who were at a similar age as these younger viewers at the time.

The series Juexing Niandai (lit: Awakening Age) debuted on China Central Television (CCTV) on February 1, 2021. It covers the history of the party from 1915 to 1921, covering the New Culture Movement, the May 4th Movement and the establishment of the CPC.

In the series, the stories of several progressive and hot-blooded young people living and fighting 100 years ago such as Chairman Mao Zedong, Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu unfold, touching today's younger generations.

Thousands of netizens have reviewed the TV series on major Chinese media review platform Douban, where it has a 9.0/10 as of Tuesday.

One stage photo of the TV series Photo: Courtesy of Lee

One stage photo of the TV series Photo: Courtesy of Lee


"I love the scene in which young Mao Zedong first appears in the series so much and have watched the two-minute reveal several times. He walks through the wind and rain, shining like a light," one reviewer wrote.

The series also restores the period in which Chinese writer, poet, and literary critic Zhou Shuren, more commonly known by his pen name Lu Xun, began to create A Madman's Diary after being disappointed by Chinese society at the time.

The vivid depiction of these revolutionary pioneers and the cinematography on display are two reasons why the series has attracted so many young viewers, who usually dislike TV and film works based on patriotic history.

"To create a high-quality historic TV series, the production team must have a sincere attitude toward history and choose the right historic figures as the leading roles in their works," Shi Wenxue, a cultural critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Many young netizens are ignorant of China's past situation and what these revolutionary pioneers experienced during this difficult period of history. The success of this TV series shows how necessary it is to produce films and TV series to remind them that no matter where they go, they should not forget where they came from. 


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