China launches star-studded movie celebrating 90th anniversary of Communist Party

BEIJING — Chinese movie stars gathered Wednesday to launch a blockbuster movie celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

The “Beginning of the Great Revival” traces developments between the 1911 revolution that overthrew imperial rule and the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party on July 31, 1921. It is part of a series of events in China marking the anniversary.

It features many of the Chinese film industry’s biggest names such as Andy Lau and Chow Yun-fat, who attended Wednesday’s event.

Director Han Sanping told a news conference the movie is better than 2009’s “The Founding of a Republic,” which told the story of the Communist Party winning power in 1949.

China Film Group is hoping for a repeat of the success it had with “The Founding of a Republic” which made 415 million yuan ($61 million) at the box office, a large amount for China and for the usually staid propaganda genre.

Its success was helped by politically correct theater operators who flooded their properties with screenings. The “Beginning of the Great Revival” is likely to receive similar treatment.

Communist China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, is played by Chinese actor Liu Ye, best known to Western audiences for his roles in the Zhang Yimou imperial drama “Curse of the Golden Flower” and the drama “Dark Matter,” which costarred Meryl Streep.

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