War feasts upon death. Its greedy appetite carries away many a life on the battlefield, and soldiers must be ready to die at any time. Yet all these sacrifices can be given meaning and reason with honor. A weathered witness of war's insatiable appetite, Guzidi, Captain of the Ninth Company, will struggle his entire life to return honor to his forty six men and their self-sacrifice. The year 1948 witnessed the launching of the Huaihai Campaign during the Chinese Civil War. In one of Chinese history's deadliest battles, thousands from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nationalist Army (KMT) fell in the battle that took place between Xuzhou and Bengdu. It was amid this bloody fight that Captain Guzidi led the Ninth Company infantry unit on a sniper mission. His orders were to fight the KMT Army until the retreat assembly call was sounded. Yet, after many long hours of painstaking resistance, Gu watched powerless as the ammunition ran out and the scant ranks of the Ninth Company ...Written by
Assembly was followed by a sequel, Assembly 2- The Cold Flame, also directed by Xiaogang Feng. See more »
When Gu Zidi stands on the watchtower, his position changes between the highest and the second highest level of the watchtower. This is clearly visible since the highest level has no diagonal beams. See more »
The First Military Blockbuster of China
After so many years waiting, there comes "Assembly", the first military blockbuster of China that Chinese movie and military fans have been hardly expecting for such a long time! I believe this movie will pose an extreme important position both in the movie history and military culture of China.
Since Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" and Tom Hanks' "Band of Brothers", shooting an excellent and extraordinary warfare movie becomes a great dream among Chinese movie and military fans. Due to political and history reasons, military is a sensitive subject for normal directors and production companies. The official August 1st Movie Studio of PLA is nearly the only producer of military movies. Though there were also many famous works such as the epic trilogy of "Decisive Engagement", the majority of this studio's products are mainly designed to meet propaganda and political priorities, then secondly for art or to restore history. As for those so called "main theme of nowadays" military TV series and plays, absolutely rubbish! (Except "A Soldier's Charge")
"Assembly" becomes a turning point. Yes, August 1st Movie Studio did supply some assistance during the making, but "Assembly" is not an official product of the Authority. It aims at entertainment area, uses commercial method combined with modern movie technology, rather than compulsory propaganda, to win the New-Year-Eve movie mark campaign in China.
Director Feng Xiaogang did it. "Assembly" sets a new level for Chinese military movies. And wins the hart of many audiences, fulfills its mission to be the first military blockbuster of China that people expecting long. I don't mind the special effects of war were created by the same team in Korea's "Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo". I'm just so pleased that China is now also able to shoot such a warfare movie that shake my heart so greatly and touch my emotion so deeply, that reflect the brutality of war and restore history details so really! Just like the Hollywood did! Nearly-real combat scenes and explosions shot by a shaking camera, old weapons and uniform (Type 55 uniform of PLA) in history exactly restored, native language of that period, and so on These scenes only exist in our dreams before, now they finally come into big screen!
Unlike the epic works of August 1st Movie Studio that mainly focus on great leaders, "Assembly" precisely draws the inner heart of a normal person for the first time. What's more, the director didn't avoid sensitive history matters. In order to gain martyr identities for his gloriously died comrades, Company Leader Gu Zidi came through lots of unfair treatment after the founding of new China. He never gave up and continually to fight, to find his men's bodies, until they were formally confirmed as martyrs and buried in 1958.
By the end of the story, when 47 heroes finally received the medals and salute that belong to them, tears break out from the eyes of every audience. That is the real glory of a Chinese soldier, the real spirit of Chinese people!
ddeell72,Christmas Eve, 2007
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