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Chinese-Kazakh movie draws inspiration from President Xi

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-09 10:34

Chinese-Kazakh movie draws inspiration from President Xi

The Sino-Kazakh coproduction, Composer, a biographical film about Chinese composer Xian Xinghai, has begun filming in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and is set to premiere on June 13, 2018. Photo provided to China Daily

ASTANA - As the first China-Kazakhstan co-production inspired by President Xi Jinping started shooting on Thursday, film makers and producers from countries along the Belt and Road seemed ready to dredge up more stories from political leaders.

Composer, telling the rarely known life story of the late Chinese composer Xian Xinghai in Kazakhstan in 1940s, came out of the statement of President Xi in 2013 and began filming during his ongoing state visit to the Central Asian country, said the film's producer Shen Jian, president of Chinese movie-making company Shinework Pictures.

A movie inspired by Xi

In his first state visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, Xi, while elaborating in a speech at Nazarbayev University his proposal of the Silk Road Economic Belt, a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, explained why there is a Xian Xinghai Boulevard in the Kazakh city of Almaty that sits on the ancient Silk Road.

The road "got its name from a true story," Xi said. "At the outset of the Great Patriotic War in 1941, Xian arrived in Almaty after much travail. By then, he was worn down by poverty and illness and had no one to turn to. Fortunately, the Kazakh composer Bakhitzhan Baykadamov took care of Xian and provided him with the comfort of a home."

"It was in Almaty that Xian composed his famous works Liberation of the Nation, Sacred War and Red All over the River. He also wrote a symphony Amangeldy based on the exploits of the Kazakh national hero. These pieces served as a rallying call to fight Fascists and proved immensely popular with the local people," said the Chinese leader.

"It was a fascinating story that we have never heard of, although Xian Xinghai is a household name in China," Shen, the film's producer, told Xinhua.

"I, and my generation, grew up listening to his passionate and extremely beautiful symphonies like the Yellow River Cantata. But we didn't know he had such a deep bond with Kazakhstan," said Shen.

"I was touched by President Xi's account. It was then that I felt obliged to shoot the movie, to make Xian and his helpful Kazakh friends widely known," he said.

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