History Rethink Group Key to ‘Eight Hundred’ Shanghai Cancellation (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety | 6/15/2019 | Rebecca Davis
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Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked Huayi Brothers’ $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its debut as the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said.

Huayi on Friday attributed the cancellation of its Saturday evening premiere to “technical reasons.” That term that has quickly become a euphemism for the long-arm of government interference.

Reports - Speculate - Cause - Statements - China

But numerous Chinese-language reports speculate that the real cause might be gleaned from recent statements delivered by the China Red Culture Research Association. The group of Party-minded scholars and experts met in Beijing last Sunday and collectively deemed that “it would be very inappropriate to use ‘The Eight Hundred’ as a tribute to celebrate the 70 anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,” numerous WeChat posts cited its vice president Hu Cheng as saying.

The film tells the story of Chinese soldiers who defended a warehouse for four days in a 1937 incident during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Their operations were once praised by Mao Zedong himself as a “classic example of national revolution.”

Association - Members - Film - Portrayal - Kuomintang

Yet association members said the film misstepped in its portrayal of the rival Kuomintang Party, which ruled the mainland until 1949, when it lost the civil war to the Communists and fled to Taiwan. The two parties continue to dispute their respective roles in fighting the Japanese.

In the most illuminating statement, the association’s secretary general Wang Benzhou criticized the film by saying: “The class oppression within the ranks of the Kuomintang army, the misdeeds of its officers and its evil oppression of the people have disappeared without a trace, making it seem that the Kuomintang army was the real people’s army.”

Seriousness - Problem

He added: “The seriousness of the problem has gone far beyond the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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