Memories of valor

Updated: 2016-10-20 07:47

By Xu Fan(China Daily)

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Memories of valor

The battle on Luding Bridge in 1935 played a significant role in the Red Army's Long March, and now it is portrayed in a new film The Warriors. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The two facts highlighted in the movie are: The Red Army troops wore sandals made of straw and covered some 120 kilometers on foot in two days to reach the bridge; and the 22 soldiers leading the charge climbed on the bridge from which many planks had been removed by the enemy and was held together only by 13 chains that were wildly swinging.

"It's a film that will make the audience hold its breath," says Ning.

"To win time from the enemy, the Red Army troops challenged the limits of human beings."

Speaking of the Red Army's sacrifice and heroism that form the basis for today's China, Ning says he hopes the film will make more youngsters know the country's history and pass on the spirit of the Long March.

Chinese movies spawned from Long March stories have been frequently produced over the past few decades, he says. So to avoid stereotypes, Ning sought to make the narration, performance and production different.

Memories of valor

[Photo provided to China Daily]

"Chinese are familiar with those household stories about the Long March. So we must give them a new experience while watching the movie," explains the director, who has a career spanning nearly three decades.

"Most revolutionary films focus on a big picture and political leaders. But The Warriors builds the story around characters and their emotions.

"They are not perfect heroes, but human beings with struggles."

To be faithful to history, the crew toured the mountainous areas the Red Army troops once traversed in southwestern China, where the altitude is up to 4,300 meters.

Mostly financed by August First Film Studio and China Film Group, the new film uses up to 1,000 special-effect takes for the big action scenarios.

Jiang Ping, general manager of China Film Group, likens The Warriors to the foreign war-themed classics such as Saving Private Ryan, Platoon and The Wild Geese.