4.9/10
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Jian guo da ye (2009)

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guoqiang Tang ...
Mao Zedong
...
...
Jin Liu ...
Zhou Enlai
...
Chiang Ching-kuo
Wufu Wang ...
Zhu De
...
Li Zongren
Sha Liu ...
Liu Shaoqi
Bing Wang ...
Zhang Lan
...
Soong May-ling
...
Zongdi Xiu ...
Fu Zuoyi
...
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:

A Fundação de uma República  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the initial announcement of the film, GuoLi Zhang went to the producers, offering to perform the role of Chiang Kai-Shek, for FREE. Shortly after, all the top film stars of China did the same thing, and offered to play roles for only a few seconds on screen, free of charge. Eventually, it was concluded by fans that Jian Guo Da Ye was a measure of the success or level of profession of film stars in China. 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

 
A Chollywood movie?
8 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

A Chinese film, financed by the government of China, about the formation of said republic. This is all out propaganda. What is interesting is that it's big budget, and it's on par with the many similar American propaganda films (from Hollywood). Stuff like Independence day, Black Hawk Down, Argo and so on.

The acting is perfect. It's a star studded cast. They got all the biggest Chinese stars to do this. And you can tell. Both Jackie Chan and Jet Li have minor supporting roles. Their stars aren't bright enough to crowd out the better talent. So that's saying a lot. Great dialogue, as well. Anyway, cool to see a film like this where USA is the villain. While I'm in no way pro-Chinese. I do like variety and shifts in perspective.

There's zero soul searching going on in this film. In this film Mao is the best guy ever. Truly loved and respected by all who know him. Although Chiang Kai Shek didn't actually kick a dog on screen... you just knew he did off camera. This is a bad man.

I'm a history buff. So I've read biographies about all these people. They didn't need to do it this way. The Chinese communist party (ou tin the real world) already declared Mao an incompetent leader, and purged all his "henchmen". They did that in the 70'ies. So there should be zero contemporary controversy, in China, to do an accurate portrayal of both Chiang Kai Shek and Mao. But they chose to do it this way instead. Which took me a bit out of the drama. It's fun when the American ambassador is shown as a coward who doesn't stick up for his friends. Again... just nice to see, for a change, a high quality film that doesn't endlessly repeat the Hollywood messages of America's perfection.

They do a quite good job dramatising, what essentially just is, a series of talks where a bunch of elderly men negotiate at various tables. There is a lot of smoking, and talking about smoking. I never figured out the symbolism of that. Or perhaps it just was historically accurate? The film does get a bit boring at times. There's a fun segment where Mao has taken sleeping pills but needs to get to safety in a bomb shelter. But he's high as a kite from the pills, and has no intention of cooperating with his handlers, who end up having to carry him by force on a stretcher (not a spoiler, since everybody who knows anything about history knows Mao survived).

They do show some of the fighting. But this isn't a war movie. This film is only about the, behind the scenes, negotiating that later led to what became the formation of the republic. It spends a lot of time explaining why and how each member of the first Central Committee was elected. Which might be more fun if I knew more about recent Chinese history. Most of these names mean nothing to me. But it's pretty clear the viewers are supposed to be impressed. Which is another thing I like about it. Just like American propaganda films, it's shot for a domestic audience. It's obvious that this is shot for a Chinese audience, and only a Chinese audience. So they don't bother explaining, lots of stuff, you just have to know. I've read a lot of history, so I could mostly follow it. But far from everything. I did a lot of pausing and looking up stuff on Wikipedia. I must admit that I liked that aspect of it. It adds to the immersion, somehow. Despite it's flaws I did learn a lot, which I think is what's most important when it comes to historical dramas.


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