大阅兵 | The Big Parade

The Big Parade

For eight months in 1985, 10,000 Chinese men and women underwent a grueling training program to prepare for a parade celebrating the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The drilling was harsh and unsparing: The rookies were required to maintain formation for three hours in the sun, to march in torrential rain, to stand at attention on one foot. Chen Kaige, a member of the noted Fifth Generation of young Chinese filmmakers, won acclaim throughout the world for Yellow Earth. But some of his supporters took him to task for The Big Parade, which they saw as glorifying the martial spirit. The film, however, evidently failed to please the authorities too; it was shelved for two years and a new, presumably more positive ending, was required. Chen says that his motive was neither to extol nor to criticize military virtues. “To put it simply, our primary concern is the relationship and the problems that arise between individuals and the group, personality and communal spirit, man and his environment, in a constantly changing world. What we studied is not what the big parade achieved, but the social psychology that surfaced in the training program.”

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Xueqi Wang, Chun Sun, Li Tung, Lu Lei, Qiang Guan | Presented at Montréal Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival

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