Letter With Feather

China Ordered Cinema to Play Propaganda Film

Beijing regulators have ordered cinemas to give 45 percent screen share to the Friday opening of a lavish propaganda film celebrating the People’s Liberation Army.

This weekend, Chinese moviegoers will have abundant opportunity to see their country’s latest big-budget propaganda movie. Beijing’s state media regulators have ordered cinemas over the country to provide substantial play Friday to the opening of The Founding of an Army.

Last week, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television issued a directive to local cinema chains large and small ordering them to guarantee that the movie opens on at least 45 percent of all Chinese screens.

The film The Founding of an Army is committed to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of People’s Liberation Army.
It is also the third work of the “Founding of New China” trilogy. The first two were the 2009 movie The Founding of a Republic and the 2011 film The Founding of the Party.

Liu Ye performed the role of Mao Zedong, which was his second experience of starring as the great founder of New China. Other popular young actors, including Zhu Yawen, Ou Hao, and Ma Tianyu, also among the cast.

The movie will premiere in the Chinese mainland on July 28 and in Hong Kong and Macao on August 3.

Washington and Beijing trade officials are currently involved in a high-stakes renegotiation of the U.S. film industry’s terms of doing business in China.

With the urging of the Motion Picture Association of America, the United States Trade Representative office is known to be driving hard for China to give up its many policies of protectionism and market manipulation. This week’s order is the latest implication that Beijing has little intention of doing so.

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