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Director's lens focuses on lessons of history

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-07-02 06:16

Veteran actor Zhang Guangbei (right) and actress Yun Lan star in the film Great Things. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Director Chen Maolin planned to stay in Beijing for around three weeks to supervise post-production of his latest feature-length film, Great Things.

However, Chen-from Shandong province-was forced to leave merely five days after he arrived in the Chinese capital on June 7.

After reading the news that Xinfadi-the city's largest wholesale market for agricultural and seafood products-was linked to a new cluster of COVID-19 cases, Chen quickly decided to purchase a train ticket to return to Qingdao.

Chen had lived in a neighborhood near the Xinfadi market for a period after he graduated as a literature major from Beijing Film Academy in 2012. "It is a sprawling market that is very densely populated, so I could imagine how serious the situation might become," he says.

Now relying on the internet to remotely guide the Beijing film editors, Chen says he has kept a close eye on the COVID-19 news, and feels inspired by Beijing's swift response and its all-out effort to combat the pandemic.

Unlike some of his fellow filmmakers, Chen-who was born in the 1990s-says he has long been interested in adapting real life events for screen productions which reflect the country's development or look back at the history of the Communist Party of China.

Great Things is a perfect example.

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