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New Report Reveals Cinemas Across China Are Required to Show Propaganda Movies

Photo by Edward He via Unsplash

New Report Reveals Cinemas Across China Are Required to Show Propaganda Movies

By Movieguide® Staff

North America led the global box office for years until 2020, when China topped revenue charts in a year where the coronavirus shut down business across the world, including cinemas.  

As the number of moviegoers in China’s thriving market grow exponentially, a new report revealed that Chinese theaters must show propaganda movies.  

Variety reported

The directive is just one of a number of stipulations issued last week by China’s National Film Administration and powerful Propaganda Department about how the country’s film and entertainment industries should participate in efforts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party’s founding, which hits this July 1.

In an official statement, National Film Administration called on “film authorities in every province, region and municipality, every film and cinema company and every production firm” to screen and promote “outstanding films” that celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party starting April 1.

The NAAC has over 5,000 theaters across China and will be forced to schedule a minimum of two propaganda movies per week. Moreover, the movies, which Chinese officials specifically approve, must “attach great importance [to the screenings], execute them in earnestness… painstakingly organize them and ensure tangible results.” 

The list of movies includes: FIGHTING NORTH AND SOUTH (1952), RAILWAY GUERRILLA (1956), BATTLE ON THE SHANGGANLING MOUNTAIN (1956), THE RED DETACHMENT OF WOMEN (1960), RED SUN (1963), ZHANG GA THE SOLDIER BOY (1963), HEROIC SONS AND DAUGHTERS (1964), THE NANCHUNG UPRISING (1981), HUNDRED REGIMENTS OFFENSIVE (2015), BATTLE OF XIANGJIANG RIVER (2016), THE SACRIFICE (2020), and LANDMINE WARFARE (2021).

At a recent press conference, National Film Administration director and leading Propaganda Department official Wang Xiaohui announced further guidelines. 

Variety reported

Among a list of eight important steps that will be taken to celebrate the anniversary, including a grand gathering featuring a speech from Xi, three action items were directed at China’s culture industries.

First, large-scale exhibitions and theatrical performances detailing the “great achievements and valuable experience” of the Party must be planned this year, with party officials and members invited to attend.

The country must also “create and promote a batch of exemplary literary and artistic works of great ideological and artistic standing” to do the same, spanning from plays, music, dance, film and TV series to publications.

Film in particular will play a key role in a broader nationwide campaign to push “mass propaganda and education” on the theme of “following the Party forever,” as well as China’s attempts to build up its military.

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