Chinese patriotic film breaks revenue records

(Beijing) The Battle at Lake Changjin, a Chinese film about the Korean War (1950-53), broke all revenue records in its home country – and led to the arrest of a critical journalist.

The film, released on the occasion of the national holiday on 1is October, dethroned Wolf Warrior 2, another patriotic work, which dated from 2017. It collected 5.6 billion yuan in revenue, the ticket platform Maoyan said on Wednesday.

The feature film is about an episode of the Korean War, when Chinese troops drove their American opponents back to a North Korean battlefield in freezing temperatures.

While the war was started by North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, it is known in China as the “War of Resistance to American Aggression and Aid to Korea.”

Chinese troops entered the conflict as North Korea was on the verge of defeat to United States-led UN troops.

As relations between China and America are once again under strain, President Xi Jinping’s regime is encouraging patriotic works.

A law adopted in 2018 also strikes outrage against revolutionary heroes with prison.

As such, a former journalist was arrested a few days after the film’s release after questioning on social networks about the merits of the Chinese intervention in Korea, which left 200,000 dead according to the official report of Beijing, much more according to the Americans.

“More than half a century later, the Chinese still have not started to think about the justification of the war,” wrote Luo Changping, former editor of Caijing magazine, who had made himself famous by denouncing corruption cases.

His message was promptly censored from his account on the social network Weibo, followed by more than 2 million Internet users.

He was taken into custody for “insulting the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs,” police in southern Hainan province said.

If found guilty, 40-year-old Luo Changping could face three years in prison.

The vast majority of films shown in cinemas in China are made nationally. In theory, only 34 foreign films, handpicked, have the right to be shown each year in theaters of the Asian country.

However, this quota does not apply to works shown at festivals, on online broadcasting platforms or in film libraries.

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