Drama reviews help raise legal awareness

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-10 08:43
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A screenshot from the movie No More Bets shows main character Pan Sheng, played by Zhang Yixing. The movie tells how Pan, a programmer, falls into the clutches of a gang overseas, becomes enslaved and is forced to participate in an online gambling fraud. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Articles by judicial assistants gain public traction, prompting people to learn more about the law. Cao Yin reports.

Since its release on Aug 8, No More Bets, an anti-fraud film, has made countless fans across China, performed well at the box office and led to heated discussions on social media platforms.

Zhang Tongyu, who works at the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court, was one of those who watched the film, attracted not only by its cast of stars, but also because the topic is closely related to her work — assisting judges in handling criminal cases, including online fraud and the illegal collection of public funds.

With a deep understanding of the plot, she wrote an article concerning the legal issues in the film and published it, along with an introduction to the relevant laws, on the court's social media platforms.

Zhang said that movies and television dramas have large audiences and a few of the biggest hits can trigger millions of discussions. "They not only help introduce knowledge of the law and make it easier to understand, but also make people more interested in reading about the law," she said.

"In short, introducing the law and analyzing legal problems through films and TV series is an innovation by judicial departments."

Take No More Bets as an example. Based on real fraud cases and starring a number of celebrities, including Zhang Yixing and Jin Chen, the film tells the story of a programmer and a model who, enticed by the promise of high-paying jobs, find themselves trapped abroad as prisoners of a ruthless gang, and forced into online gambling fraud.

According to data platform Beacon, the film's box-office receipts were 3.8 billion yuan ($520 million) as of Sept 19. Meanwhile, more than 1,800 topics related to the movie can be found on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, many of which have sparked heated discussions.

Among them, a thread with the hashtag "Film No More Bets" has received 2.8 billion views and had been discussed 6.34 million times by Sept 13. Another thread tagged "No More Bets shows fraud through money laundering" gained 7.46 million views.

"This shows that many people like the film and are thinking about the legal issues it raises, such as whether certain actions in the plot violate the law, and how to avoid becoming a victim," Zhang Tongyu said.

"By answering their questions and explaining the associated laws to them, it is easier to stimulate their interest, making my article more popular.

"The plotlines that caught the audience's attention were situations people encounter in daily life, so my introduction to the law in the article has greater relevance and will be more useful in solving problems in life and work."

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