Action epic to bring heroism in Korean War to modern era
New war film inspired by pivotal blockade battle
Published: May 22, 2023 11:22 PM
Photo: Courtesy of <em>Zui Hou de Fang Xian</em>

Photo: Courtesy of Zui Hou de Fang Xian

To promote the heroic spirit of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) army in modern cinema, war film Zui Hou de Fang Xian (The Last Line of Defense) was announced in Beijing on Sunday. 

The film will be set during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53).

The story was inspired by a pivotal blockade battle between the CPV army and United Nations Command troops during the later stage of the fifth campaign of the war.

The battle occurred around the Yonchon and Chorwon areas. It was a "solemn yet victorious" battle, historian Qiao Xiong told the Global Times. 

During the battle, the CPV army seized a complete success under the helm of commander-in-chief Peng ­Dehuai, showing their "iron-forged bravery and spirit," Qiao added. 

Compared with more commonly known wartime events such as the Battle on Shangganling Mountain, the blockade battle is less familiar to people, yet was pivotal to the CPV army's final victory. 

"The success of the battle gave leeway for the main CPV force to re-conceiving its strategies and building up its power and a new frontline," said Qiao.  

Liu Shusen, the film's producer, said that the character Tie Lixin, a commander of a sharpshooter company fighting in the war for China, is a highlight of the film that will bring audiences closer to the country's wartime heroes. 

Films about the war have been quite popular in China.  

Debuting in 2021, war epic The Battle at Lake Changjin earned a total of 5.77 billion yuan ($821 million) at the box office, becoming the highest earning film of all time in the Chinese mainland. Besides its commercial success, it also ignited the passion of moviegoers, especially younger ones.

Cultural sociologist Chu Xin told the Global Times that China's profound red culture has become a popular "cultural IP." More and more productions like The Battle at Lake Changjin are now attempting to use "contemporary strategies" to get audiences interested in history. 

"For example, bringing in a super idol like Jackson Yee was one of those strategies," Chu noted, adding that emphasizing the inheritance of red culture's ­Chinese spirit should always be the core of these productions. 

Along with the new film, a documentary focusing on China's founding generals has also been announced.  

Gao Yanhui, a representative of the documentary's production team, revealed that audiences will have a "virtual reality" level experience while watching the historical documentary. 

Both productions are about to start shooting but the main filmmakers involved have not yet been announced.  

"The film reveals the great patriotism and revolutionary heroism of the CPV army and the determination of the Chinese people to love and maintain peace. That's what the film is about," Cai ­Xiaoxin, producer of The Last Line of Defense, told media.