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|Friday, August 18, 2000, updated at 09:54(GMT+8)|
Chinese Flocking to Watch Anti-corruption FilmWhile local films dwarf in comparison to foreign film industry giants like Hollywood, a made-in-China anti-corruption movie is breaking new earnings records at box offices in many Chinese cities.
"Live or Die," a new film from the Shanghai Film Studio, tells about how the character, Mayor Li Gaocheng, struggles against corrupt officials, including one of his long-time friends, and his wife who has been lured into the crime.
The film has become very popular among Chinese audiences.In fact, the issue the film is made about has become a hot topic for many local families these days.
In Shanghai, the largest financial center in China, over 11 million tickets have been sold, bringing about over 14.3 million yuan to local cinemas.
At the gate of Daguangming Cinema, one of the oldest in Shanghai, Yu Benzheng, the film's director, was spotted by an old couple. They came up and thanked him many times. They said: "Hope you will shoot more films about what we ordinary people care about. "
In Beijing, the Chinese capital, Secretry of Municipal Party Committee Jia Qinglin and other city leaders watched the film Wednesday, before its debut in the city.
The city authorities have decided to include the film in a package of ideological textbooks to educate local officials, after the cases of corruption of Hu Changqing, former vice governor of Jiangxi Province, and Cheng Kejie were revealed. Hu was executed in March, while Cheng is awaiting for the same fate.
Provincial leaders in Hubei Province did something special a couple of days ago, when their spouses, secretaries and drivers were invited to watch the film.
"Some evil people are attempting to capture leading officials via their relatives and aides. All of us must keep a cool head about the issue," said Jiang Zhijie, the provincial party chief, after he viewed the film.
In Tianjin, a north China port city, local cinemas had to debut the film ahead of the timetable under increasing pressure from local cinema-goers. Telephones at the box offices rang all day as people were rushing to buy tickets.
"When a film chooses the people, the people are sure to choose the film," said Yu.
He quoted the script writer Zhang Ping as saying, "Writers are not the savior, but they must not keep a distance from the time and the people."
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