Blockbuster Chinese war film hailed as milestone
Published: Dec 08, 2021 07:08 PM
Patriotic Chinese blockbuster The Battle at Lake Changjin has been hailed by film experts as a milestone in the history of Chinese war films.

Following a sweeping box office success, the film set during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) has won critical acclaim at a recent film seminar.

The Battle at Lake Changjin, co-directed by Chen Kaige, Hark Tsui, and Dante Lam, tells the story of Chinese People's Volunteer (CPV) soldiers fighting bravely in freezing temperatures in a key campaign at Lake Changjin, or Chosin Reservoir.

The story of young warriors, willing to risk everything to defend their motherland against the world's best-equipped army despite a lack of food and warm clothing amid the bitter cold, has moved many moviegoers to tears.

Zhou Xing, a professor at Beijing Normal University's school of arts and communication, said the war epic marked a new high in terms of quality filmmaking and how the prevalent values of Chinese society are conveyed, according to a report on the seminar by China Film News.

Jia Leilei, a former deputy head of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, said that the movie has been etched into the memories of the younger generation, outshining ordinary movies in terms of influence.

The film is currently the highest-grossing title of all time at China's box office, as well as the top earner so far of 2021 globally, with a total revenue of more than 5.74 billion yuan ($901.07 million) since its September 30 release, according to film data platforms.

Approximately 123 million moviegoers have watched the film in Chinese theaters.

The Battle at Lake Changjin was produced at a cost of 1.4 billion yuan, said the film's producer Yu Dong, adding that it saw the involvement of nearly all of China's post-production companies and all aspects of the film's post-production were completed in China.

Yu noted that the film has fully demonstrated the human resources foundation, technological support, and creative power and potential of China's filmmaking industry.

The film's achievements, he said, could be viewed as a comprehensive review of the industrialization level of Chinese films.

A sequel titled Water Gate Bridge is in the works, and will feature the return of stars Wu Jing and Jackson Yee as well as other key members of the original cast.

The new film follows CPV soldiers of the same company, as they take on a new task. And this time, their battlefield is a crucial bridge on the retreat route of US troops.