Behind the Scenes of ON WINGS OF EAGLES:
Chinese Christian Director Discusses Making Movie About Eric Liddell
By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
CHARIOTS OF FIRE, about the Scottish Christian Olympic track star Eric Liddell, was released 36 years ago and is considered among the greatest movies ever made. What many don’t know about Liddell is that after he won gold in the 400-meter race at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, Liddell went on to be a missionary in China, his actual birth country, following the path of his parents.
This is what fascinated Chinese Director Stephen Shin, who recently spoke with Movieguide® about the follow up movie he Directed ON WINGS OF EAGLES, which releases this Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The movie stars Joseph Fiennes as Eric Liddell and follows him as a teacher and minster in China during the Japanese invasion. Liddell and his British friends were eventually rounded up and thrown into concentration camps.
Shin grew up watching movies like BEN-HUR and GONE WITH THE WIND, adding:
“I was a middle school student, and I watched the movie CHARIOTS OF FIRE. During the Olympic Games in Beijing, someone told me, ‘Did you know Eric Liddell died in China?’ I was so shocked that the champion would die in China.”
So, Shin researched the story of Eric Liddell and spent 10 years to find the funding to get the movie made.
Shin, who has directed nearly 20 movies, said this was the first movie he made that was partially in English. So, he worked with Canadian Director Michael Parker.
When asked whether the movie will get released in China, Shin replied, “This is very difficult to make a religious movie in China. We can pass through the censorship and handle it in a very proper way and show the content is about love and not force anyone to believe in Christianity. But, the message is quite strong, and eventually we got the exhibition permit, so we can show the film in China already.”
Shin spoke about growing up in China in a Christian family, but it wasn’t until he left for college that he started finding his own identity and made following Jesus Christ his own personal choice.
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