Since its release, new film "The Founding of An Army" has been inspiring Chinese youth across the nation.
The film, made in honor of the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), is based on real 1920s events that culminated in the Nanchang Uprising on Aug. 1, 1927, which marked the founding of the PLA.
Hitting the screens last Thursday and starring more than 50 Chinese A-list actors and actresses, the movie has already raked in over 217 million yuan (around 32 million U.S. dollars).
As the final piece of the "Founding Trilogy", which also featured "The Founding of A Republic" and "Beginning of The Great Revival," the film shared the same production team as the previous two, but leaned towards younger audiences by using a number of young up-and-coming stars, with cast members aged 31 on average, 10 of whom were born after 1985.
Liu Haoran, a 20-year-old actor from central China's Henan Province, portrayed Su Yu in his 20s in the film. Su later became a PLA general.
Despite his previous participation in an army-themed entertainment show where he experienced life in the armed forces, Liu was still required to take up military training before shooting.
"Actors and actresses including extras all had to participate in military training," Liu told Xinhua. "We had to be familiar with the troops at the time, including how they moved and how they held guns. We have to respect history."
"I hesitated at first when invited to take part in this movie, because of my young age and lack of life experience, which could affect the quality of the performance," Liu said.
Director Liu Weiqiang explained that actors and actresses with a similar age were more likely to be able act as the historical figures of those ages in the 1920s.
The younger cast rose to the occasion and received positive feedback from audiences.
"The performances of these young stars were beyond my expectation, their lines also fit history very well," said Zhou Quan, a moviegoer.
According to an audience survey conducted after the premiere, by the China Film Art Research Center, the movie gained 88.8 points, the highest score in its history.
"It is easier for young people to be educated by their peers," said Liu Haoran, who pointed out that younger moviegoers easily tire of sermons made by seniors.
"This movie is a good education in patriotism for our young people," said Fan Yidan, a 25-year-old moviegoer and teacher at a middle school in Beijing. "It also encourages us to strive for our Chinese Dream."
However, Fan was worried the performances of the young stars might be too exaggerated.
"We welcome people to come and watch this movie with doubts, and we believe the film as well as the performances of our young actors and actresses will change attitudes," Liu said.