“The Battle of Changjin Lake”, a successful cultural export for the world to start listening to the voice of China

A poster from the movie The Battle of Changjin Lake. Photo: CFP

Eighteen days after his prime minister, the epic of the war The Battle of Changjin Lake grossed over 4.8 billion yuan ($ 745.8 million) and broke 24 records in Chinese cinema history, including becoming the first Chinese film to exceed 400 million yuan at the daily box office for six consecutive days.

The Battle of Changjin Lake is just one of many nationalist films that have become big commercial hits in China in recent years, but its influence across the country is unprecedented. The blockbuster is set to become the highest grossing Chinese film of all time, while its highlight is that it has achieved a high degree of domestic empathy and cultural production for Chinese films abroad, this which is an elusive achievement for other commercial films. .

Audiences deeply moved by the film spontaneously paid tribute to the Chinese People’s Volunteers (PCVs) who sacrificed their lives during the war to resist American aggression and help Korea (1950-53). According to a video on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, students at a middle school based in central China’s Henan Province find out how Chinese soldiers ate fried flour and frozen potatoes on the spot. battle after watching the movie. In a voice choked with tears, a student remarks how much they must cherish their hard-earned life without complaining more.

Likewise, a video of a young woman in southwest China’s Yunnan province eating frozen potatoes has gone viral on social media. In the video, the woman goes to great lengths to bite a small piece of it, then burst into tears.

In Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, a movie theater screened the film by 88-year-old CPV veteran Li Huawu, who lost his right eye and both hands on the battlefield. At the end of the film, he raised his mutilated right arm to greet the screen, expressing his fear for the story and his respect for his fallen comrades, which touched many Chinese people.

The “Changjin Lake Effect” has reached all levels of society, from the strong patriotic sentiment of people across the country to the actions of the public to offer condolences to CPVs. It is the first film in China to have mobilized audiences’ enthusiasm so widely and deeply and to lead the world to reexamine this period of history and listen to the voice of China.

We seem to have grown used to watching omnipotent superheroes fly across the big screen and accept the cultural contributions of the West, especially Hollywood, including the embellishment of the US military.

But this time, The Battle of Changjin Lake is a film that truly belongs to the Chinese and shaped Chinese heroes and told a good Chinese story. The Battle of Changjin Lake comes just at the right time, especially since the US military evacuated Afghanistan in embarrassment.

Unlike the illusory superhero stories in the West, China The Battle of Changjin Lake is the real story. Our predecessors and martyrs are more remarkable and truer legends than those heroes who only exist in the movies.

The truth is more powerful than any fictional story.

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