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