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Touching heartstrings on missing children

By Liu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2014-10-16 06:50

Touching heartstrings on missing children

Zhao Wei portrays the rustic rural wife of a child smuggler and Huang Bo plays a devastated father whose son was abducted. Photo provided to China Daily

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Dearest, based on China's missing children, is a box-office hit despite its grim subject, Liu Wei reports.

Hong Kong director Peter Chan's film, Dearest, based on the kidnapping and selling of children in China, has emerged as the most popular film second only to a comedy during the weeklong National Day celebrations.

The October holidays, also known as the Golden Week, is a competitive time at the box office.

Inspired by the real-life stories of two families involved in the search for their missing children, the film is the country's first feature-length production on the grim subject.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, about 54,000 children were rescued between 2009 and 2013 from criminal rings; some were trafficked for forced labor while others were sold to childless couples.

One of the two families on whose accounts the film is based has yet to find their child, who went missing seven years ago at age 4. The other child, also 4 when he was kidnapped in 2008, was found by police in 2011.

In the past few years, parents of several missing children have formed associations to help each other, which the film also depicts.

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