Film crew was persecuted in real life just as the protagonist in the movie
Mostly political propaganda in the era of the start of political turmoil started by Mao: this movie in made in the era of Great Leap Forward, after the Anti-Rightists Movement. Understandably, the crew's attempt to maximize what really happened in the history was mitigated by the general political environment of the time.
One of the example was that in this film, the protagonist's relatives were the opium addicts, too, which was part of the reason he wanted to ban opium. This important part was omitted due to communist pressure to make patriots perfect, but less than a decade later the crew was persecuted for eulogizing feudalism and its officials for the same movie during the Cultural Revolution.
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