Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Beginning of the Great Revival

Currently, the American economy is pretty bad and our image overseas has taken some hits.  Despite this, American pop culture and entertainment is still king around the world.  Movie theater receipts may be down in the US with Americans streaming in high definition in the comfort of their own living rooms.  Our film industry is booming in a lot of places overseas.  The Chinese market is the largest in the world with 1.3 billion potential customer, but their censors only allow 20 foreign films a year to be shown in theaters.  Movie theaters are being built in China at a rate of two per day.  It would be a hit to our economy if, for some reason, China would stop showing American films even for a handful of films.  This summer's biggest releases, the latest installments of Transformers and Harry Potter, were delayed until late July this year.  Why?  Because the government has been blocking foreign films for most of the summer to give maximum attention to The Beginning of the Great Revival.  It was also produced by the state and is just a huge propaganda film.

The Beginning of the Great Revival is about the founding of the Communist Party of China.  It dramatizes the events from 1911 to 1921 in a positive and heroic light.  It is directed by John Woo, the same guy who directed Mission: Impossible II and Face/Off.   It is less than two hours long but has an all-star cast of 100 performers that any Chinese film goer will recognize.  In some parts of the country, it has been the only film available to watch.  All school children are required to see it.

I'd love to see this film purely for curiosity sake.  It is getting panned (2 stars out of 10 on IMBD.com).  I am sure some of the bad reviews are due to the anger over the censorship.  It probably has no chance of coming to the Vermont.  With so many great American films, British or French (or from the rest of the free world) coming out every year, I think I can skip this one.  As an American tax payer, enough of my money goes towards the Chinese economy.

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