Anti-American war epic becomes blockbuster in China

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The film was such a success that fans were even inspired to eat frozen potatoes as a tribute to the soldiers who endured extreme hardships.

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A Chinese blockbuster claiming the defeat of the US military in the Korean War has become the biggest film the country has ever made.

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It cost at least 5.69 billion yuan (668 million pounds), making it the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time, according to Maoyan, an online cinema ticket booking platform. The film is released to coincide with the National Day of October 1, and the ruling Communist Party is often keen to ensure a patriotic spirit around such events.

A scene from the film shows soldiers chewing on small frozen potatoes between battles while their American counterparts feast on Thanksgiving turkey.

Some theaters handed out frozen potatoes to audiences ahead of the movie, according to videos on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, with many viewers eating them or fried flour that was also eaten by Chinese soldiers. .

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A young woman in a video cried after the first bite, saying it was impossible to eat. “The frozen potatoes they ate give us the good life we ​​have today,” said another Douyin user.

Some theaters handed out frozen potatoes to audiences ahead of the movie, according to videos on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, with many viewers eating them or fried flour that was also eaten by Chinese soldiers. .
Some theaters handed out frozen potatoes to audiences ahead of the movie, according to videos on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, with many viewers eating them or fried flour that was also eaten by Chinese soldiers. . Photo by NOEL CELIS /AFP via Getty Images

The war ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty or a meteoric defeat on either side, leaving the United States-led UN forces still technically at war with North Korea.

A sequel, Water Gate Bridge, is in the works, according to local media.

China is now the second largest film market in the world after the United States, underscoring its importance as a key market for Hollywood filmmakers.

However, Chinese moviegoers have turned to local content in recent years amid growing patriotic sentiment. The Chinese government has imposed a quota of 34 imported films each year, many of which are produced by major Hollywood studios.

Elsewhere, a documentary on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong yesterday won an award at the Golden Horse Awards, the Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world, in Taiwan.

Kiwi Chow’s Revolution of Our Time was named Best Documentary, eliciting a long round of applause and cries of support in Hong Kong from members of the audience at the glitzy event in Taipei. Mr Chow, who sent a pre-recorded message from Hong Kong to express his thanks for the award, dedicated the film to Hong Kong people, saying he hoped it would bring them some comfort.


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