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Jackie Chan vs feudalism as heroic general on screen

(China Daily)

17:30, September 24, 2011


A couple takes photos of a poster of China 1911 at a cinema in Beijing on Friday. (Zou Hong / China Daily)


Film about Xinhai Revolution depicts turbulent times at end of corrupt Qing Dynasty, Liu wei reports.

Jackie Chan's 100th film marks the 100th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the last Chinese imperial kingdom. Set against the backdrop of a corrupt Qing Dynasty and foreign aggression, the film China 1911 depicts Dr Sun Yat-sen and commander Huang Xing leading the Xinhai Revolution that ended the system of feudal rule that had existed for thousands of years.

The film premiered on Friday.

Chan said he turned to historical material to understand his role as the legendary general Huang.

"I hope after seeing the film that audiences will forget Jackie Chan and remember Huang Xing, and what he and his fellow revolutionaries have done for the country," he said.

Chan, who is also the film's co-director, teamed up for the production with mainland filmmaker Zhang Li, who is known for his insight on grand historical subjects.

The day the film wrapped up shooting, Chan added a three-minute fight scene in which he battles a group of assassins.

The scene steps away from Chan's signature humor and is shot in a down-to-earth style.

Chan knows Huang was not a martial artist, but believes the scene will help the film's distribution in overseas markets.

Taiwan actor Winston Chao, who has played Sun Yat-sen four times in TV dramas and films, once again portrays the statesman.

"A key word of Sun's doctrine is fraternity," Chao says. "He loves his people and hopes to improve their lives."

The film also depicts the romance between Huang and his wife, the revolutionary Xu Zonghan, played by mainland actress Li Bingbing, star of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

According to statistics from gewara.com, the largest online movie ticket sales platform in the Yangtze Delta, China 1911 was the second most popular movie on Friday. It fell behind May Day 3DNA, a music movie from Taiwan.

More than 1,300 tickets were sold on the website that day, more than Captain America and Sanctum, two Hollywood movies.

However, turnout was about 20 percent at a cinema in Chaoyang district in Beijing on Friday evening.

Thirty-year-old Hao Yong used his lunch break to catch the film in Beijing on Friday.

"What I was most concerned about was whether this film tells the true story of the revolution. I think it does a good job."

The film will be released in North America on Oct 12, and Japan on Nov 5, after it opens the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct 22.

Luo Wangshu contributed to this story.

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