by Nikki Baughan
A Chinese-made movie that has become the biggest homegrown film of all time at the country’s box office – and it’s a government-funded propaganda film about the birth of modern China under communist rule.
The Founding of a Republic is directed by Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin features an all star cast, including Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Ziyi Zhang, some of whom appear in fleeting cameos as political figures. Even director John Woo filmed some scenes, although they have seemingly not ended up in the final cut. Having taken more than 406m yuan (£36m) since it opened on September 16, The Founding of a Republic is currently the third highest grossing film in China’s history, with only Titanic and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen having taken more money at the box office.
Its business was undoubtedly helped by an aggressive marketing campaign backed by the country’s government. Trailers for the film have been screened in front of every single movie released in recent months, and was also released on the highest ever number of screens in Chinese history during an extended national holiday period when no big Hollywood movies were being shown.