http://www.sina.com.cn 2009年03月26日 09:38
THEY say that war is 99 percent boredomand one percent sheer terror, but Kang Honglei's My Chief, My Regiment is going some way to reducing the boredom part of that ratio.
The show tells the story of Chinese soldiers fighting the Japanese in World War II, and it's proving to be hugely popular. It follows the Chinese Expeditionary Force, which lost some 60,000 troops during the battle over the Yunnan-Myanmar Road。
But why is the story of a war fought some 70 years ago proving essentialviewing today for China's TV audience, young and old?
War dramas have always been popular around the world, on both the big and the small screen. Saving Private Ryan was just one Hollywood blockbuster to be based on a small event that happened during World War II. Countless films have also been set in the Vietnam War. Steven Spielberg's Band of Brothers used similar themes to create an acclaimed TV drama series。
It would be easy to say that My Chief, My Regiment is popular because of the action and fighting it includes, but this is only part of the story. War has the potentialto make great entertainment because it shows people who are on the edge in every sense。
The characters in My Chief, My Regiment are constantly aware of their mortality, and as a result even the most banal activities become intense. The camerawork in the show, often shaky as though being filmed by one of the soldiers, helps create an authentic atmosphere。
War dramas are a perfect way to bring out the best and the worst in people. Kang described the characters in his show as “tough but with tender hearts”. In one scene, soldiers are seen looking solemn after hearing a Japanese prisoner sing a song about his hometown。
But perhaps most importantly war dramas can serve as a memory and tribute to everyone who has died in war – whichever side they were fighting for. In one moving scene from My Chief, My Regiment Chinese soldiers bury a Japanese soldier they have killed。
It is a timely reminder that we are better off keeping war out of the real world, and on the TV screen。
THE TV drama is based on the award-winning novel by Lan Xiaolong, which shares the same title. However, there are some differences between the TV adaptation and the novel 。
Lan focuses on a less-well known part of Chinese military history during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in 1942. In that year, Chinese troops landed in Myanmar to support British allied force operations. One of the aims was to protect the Yunnan-Myanmar Road. The road was important as it served as a war supply route to China after China’s ports fell under Japanese control。
The Chinese troops won several key battles, but later had to make a strategic withdrawal. Of the 100,000 strong Chinese Expeditionary Force sent to fight, only around 40,000 returned home。