Soldiers' stories win praise for TV series

2021-01-29 12:04:45

A poster of the TV series, Kuaguo Yalu Jiang (Going Across the Yalu River). CHINA DAILY Actor Hou Junguang was in a barber shop getting his hair cut a few days ago when an elderly couple approached him and asked if he was the one who played martyr Qiu Shaoyun in the TV series Kuaguo Yalu Jiang (Going Across the Yalu River). When Hou said yes, they became animated and discussed some of the touching details of the drama with him, praised his acting and insisted on giving him some meatballs. "I don't deserve this attention, as I know they were actually just transmitting their affection for martyr Qiu to me. A good TV series can really take people back into history, to get close to the cruelty of war," Hou told a Beijing seminar about the TV series on Tuesday. The 40-episode production, which aired on China Central Television's flagship channels last year, made a big splash in China. As last year marked the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People's Volunteers joining the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), referred to in the West as the Korean War, it showed people the reality of the times and of the war. According to statistics released by leading television and broadcasting tracker CSM Media Research, the drama produced by China Media Group was one of the most watched TV series among those broadcast simultaneously. It is also rated 8.7 out of 10 on China's popular TV and movie review site Douban. "More than 300 professional actors and actresses, alongside over 40,000 extras, participated in the production of the show," says Xue Jijun, a producer of the TV series. "We divided the cast into five groups, who worked tirelessly in five locations for 100 days to make it work." Director Dong Yachun says they scrutinized and checked historical literature to accurately re-create the tale, and consulted experts in both military affairs and the history of the Communist Party of China."We tried to get close to the characters, to make the battle scenes and heroes vivid," says Dong. "Details like the arrangement of the armies, of ourselves and the enemy, the repeated military meetings, and even a telegram or a map, were all carefully checked according to historical records, to make sure that we didn't make any mistakes," he adds. Actor Sun Weimin who played Premier Zhou Enlai in the series, says his participation was a learning process. "We completed the work with reverence for the history of the war and respect for the Chinese People's Volunteers. The experience was like a cultivation for me, as I was learning about their spirit." Shen Haixiong, head of China Media Group, praised the production, saying that it not only helped people to recall a hard-earned victory, but also encouraged Chinese people today to continue their efforts to build a great nation. "From this TV series, we can get answers to questions like why China took part in the war and how the Chinese People's Volunteers achieved the final victory in spite of the arduous conditions, as well as looking at the wider influences of the victory," says Shen. "The drama is a panoramic reflection of the war. It becomes a heroic epic as it did well to shape the characters of the heroes who fought on the battlefield. I believe it will become a meaningful work."