PLA Air Force film ‘Sky Hunter’ demon­strates China’s grow­ing mil­i­tary con­fi­dence

Global Times US Edition - - LIFE -

With the re­cent rise in mil­i­tary films and dra­mas, as well as the in­cred­i­ble suc­cess of mil­i­tary ac­tion film Wolf War­rior 2, it seems that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary has been grow­ing more open and con­fi­dent about be­ing in the pub­lic eye.

Sky Hunter, an up­com­ing mil­i­tary ac­tion flick, is the lat­est ex­am­ple of this grow­ing con­fi­dence.

Star­ing pop­u­lar stars such as Li Chen and Fan Bing­bing and veteran ac­tors like Wang Qianyuan and Wang Xueqi, the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) Air Force film re­volves around the story of Chi­nese pi­lots sta­tioned at a top se­cret base and their aerial bat­tles with for­eign ter­ror­ists.

Sneak peek

Set for na­tion­wide re­lease in China on Septem­ber 30, the be­gin­ning of the an­nual seven-day-long Na­tional Hol­i­day, the film was screened early for a few PLA Air Force air­men, stu­dents and media out­lets on Wed­nes­day at the Bei­jing Univer­sity of Aero­nau­tics and Astro­nau­tics (BUAA).

“I am a fan of the mil­i­tary and am very fond of mil­i­tary films and TV dra­mas,” Li Chen, who is also the di­rec­tor of the film, told the crowd af­ter the screen­ing.

He added that he had learned quite a bit af­ter in­ter­view­ing pi­lots and re­search­ing the mil­i­tary in prepa­ra­tion for the film.

While re­views of the film will have to wait un­til it hits the­aters, re­ac­tions from the au­di­ence on Wed­nes­day were very pos­i­tive.

A pi­lot cadet re­marked at the event that he felt fear at the thought of be­ing a pi­lot af­ter watch­ing war film Pearl Har­bor, but his re­ac­tion af­ter

Sky Hunter was quite the there­fore made him a great choice for di­rec­tor.

“We both wanted to present some­thing dif­fer­ent from pre­vi­ous mil­i­tary films, such as por­tray re­al­is­tic aerial bat­tles, show off the lat­est arms and equip­ment and demon­strate the readi­ness of to­day’s air­men,” Zhang said, ex­plain­ing that pre­vi­ous Chi­nese mil­i­tary films have mainly dealt with his­tor­i­cal sto­ries.

Zhang added that around a dozen of mil­i­tary, for­eign af­fairs and diplo­matic ex­perts also served as ad­vis­ers on the new film, while the film’s score is from Os­car-win­ning and Grammy-nom­i­nated mu­si­cian Hans Zim­mer.

Speak­ing about the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s cur­rent proac­tive stance in pre­sent­ing their sto­ries and in ser­vice weapons and equip­ment in films and TV dra­mas, Zhang said that this “is part of a very nat­u­ral process, since the Chi­nese mil­i­tary is be­com­ing more con­fi­dent, ac­ces­si­ble and open to co­op­er­a­tion.”

As for the Chi­nese Air Force, Zhang ex­plained that “since the 18th Na­tional Congress of the CPC in 2012, the PLA Air Force has seen tremen­dous im­prove­ment when it comes to ar­ma­ment, ac­tual com­bat abil­ity, man­age­ment and qual­ity of its air­men.”

“We hope that we can share our sto­ries and achieve­ments with the pub­lic, es­pe­cially young­sters, through pub­lic art works such as films,” Zhang said, not­ing that the PLA Air Force does not be­long to it­self, but to the Chi­nese peo­ple.

Sky Hunter di­rec­tor and lead ac­tor Li Chen (cen­ter) takes a selfie with his co-stars Li Chen­hao (left) and Zhao Da.

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