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The Founding of a Republic (2009)
"Jian guo da ye" (original title)

5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 2,275 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 10 critic

Inspired by true events, Founding of a Republic weaves a rousing tale of one man who fought against the tyranny of a ruler and led his people in battle in the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

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Title: The Founding of a Republic (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guoqiang Tang ...
...
...
Jin Liu ...
...
Chiang Ching-kuo
Wufu Wang ...
...
Li Zongren
Sha Liu ...
Bing Wang ...
Zhang Lan
...
...
Member of CPPCC
Zongdi Xiu ...
Fu Zuoyi
...
Tian Han
Yiwei Liu ...
Li Huang
...
Gu Zhutong
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Storyline

Inspired by true events, Founding of a Republic weaves a rousing tale of one man who fought against the tyranny of a ruler and led his people in battle in the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

17 September 2009 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Founding of a Republic  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party founding of China. The film boasts the most number of China's movie stars in one film. Many of the top stars were invited to star as leads, supporting characters, or just cameo in the film, reportedly including some of the top Chinese stars like 'Jackie Chan' and Jet Li, who only have one shot or one line in the film. See more »

Quotes

Li Ji-chen: I heard you intend to resign. Even if you were to resign, at least wait till after the capitulation ceremony in Nanjing. You helped defeat the Japanese. The ceremony can't do without a national hero like you.
Chen Shaokuan: If I don't resign, very soon I'll be blamed for the civil war. We fought against the country's enemy for 8 years. We've struggled, we've fought all, nothing more need be said. And now that we've won, we're still warring. Against whom ? Chinese people fighting Chinese people... this kind of...
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User Reviews

Propaganda v. 2.0
11 November 2009 | by (a world partitioned by petty, squabbling nation-states) – See all my reviews

A previous reviewer (erroneously) noted that you need to know "Chinese history" to appreciate this film. In actuality, what you need to know is "PRC history"--the repeatedly revised history of the PRC (which is far shorter than "Chinese history") that deifies Mao Ze Dong and aligns the meaning of WWII and post-WWII historical events with a nationalist narrative sanctioned by the PRC state.

This film downplays the theme of "ideological struggle" that saturates previous films about the founding of the PRC in place of a dramatized struggle of power between different historical personalities. An extensive list of Chinese entertainment celebrities (from Jet Li to Donny Yen) make 2 minute cameos to portray an equally extensive list of notable Chinese political celebrities from that time period. It's as if someone thought it would be a good idea to adapt the formula for the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" to the story of the PRC's founding-- except it's not nearly as romantic or interesting.

The film portrays Chang Kai Shak as a conscientious political leader unable to contain the corruption of the KMT and compelled to make choices that dashed any real possibility of a multi-party democratic government in post-WWII China. The filmmakers show him struggling with KMT party members who seek to usurp his presidency and attempting to fight war-profiteering backed by political nepotism, all the while minimizing the actual scope of the corruption in order to market the film to a Taiwanese audience that is probably even more critical of Chang's historical role in this dark chapter of "Chinese history." Meanwhile, Mao is his usual mythologized self--a caring leader, a humble revolutionary, a loving father, a forgiving man, a light-hearted philosopher, and perhaps even a psychic. In one dialogue, Mao is seen emphasizing the need to get help from the "petty bourgeoisie" to rebuild China's war-devastated economy as if predicting (and giving his blessings to) the current free market reforms that began decades later with Deng Xiao Ping.

This is not a film for serious historians and enthusiasts, unless you are looking for an over-budgeted bad comedy. In fact, it's not that different from previous PRC films on the same subject. It's just updated with newer techniques of storytelling for contemporary Chinese film audiences that works in a more subtle way to legitimate the party's current vision of the PRC state. Thus, propaganda version 2.0.


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