‘Chinese cannot be trifled with’; viewers inspired after Korean War film special screening
Published: Sep 25, 2021 03:33 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The highly anticipated epic film "Changjin Hu (The Battle at Lake Changjin)" launched its special early screening in 34 Chinese cities on Saturday ahead of its formal release on September 30 before the seven-day National Day holidays. 

Some industry observers expected the film to add a much needed boost to box office that has failed to record a robust recovery during the just passed Mid-Autumn break, with many moviegoers expressing their excitement at seeing the depiction of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), a topic which has not received a lot of attention across domestic film and television. 

The film will tell a story of how Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) held their ground amid fierce cold and the enemy's more advanced weapons, according to released information. It focuses on the growth and development of two brothers, played by Wu Jing, director and actor of the Wolf Warrior series, and young actor Yi Yangqianxi who starred in Better Days, which was about school bullying.  

As of 6pm Saturday, pre-sales for the film reached 50 million yuan ($7.7 million), which "fully reflects our excitement to watch the film," a moviegoer in Beijing surnamed Liu told the Global Times.

"I tried to book a ticket for Saturday's special screening but they were quickly snapped up," Liu said. 

Another moviegoer Yang was lucky to get a ticket and she did not go to the bathroom during the three-hour screening. "I felt the courage of Chinese young warriors who are willing to risk it all to protect our homes and defend our country," Yang told the Global Times.  

Producers of the film told media that in the film, China, war-torn and yet to become a major power, had to face down the world's most powerful military, but Chinese people are not to be trifled with. 

Why were Chinese people willing to fight the bitter war? Just as Chairman Mao said, "Strike one punch to avoid a hundred punches." 

Many viewers noted one memorable line: We fight all the wars that we have to fight, so that our children and grandchildren will be saved from warfare. 

Chinese people cannot be trifled with and it is not easy to stop them once they are riled up, Chinese President Xi Jinping quoted Mao's remarks while addressing a meeting in October 2020 marking the 70th anniversary of the CPV entering Korea. Those words drew loud applause from the audience.

The film was originally scheduled to screen in mid-August but was postponed due to a domestic COVID-19 outbreak in Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu, and involved multiple other places. 

"The Battle of Changjin Lake" was an opening film for the Beijing International Film Festival that was also postponed from August due to the epidemic resurgence. 

The battle at Changjin Lake took place in late 1950 and is often viewed as changing the power balance in the Korean Peninsula. The US military's Regimental Combat Team 31 was wiped out and its flag remains on display at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in Beijing.