This is the story behind the composition of the Chinese national anthem “The March of the Volunteers”. The film follows the life and times of the anthem composer Nie Er and lyricist Tian Han.
The anthem’s lyrics were composed as a dramatic poem by the poet and playwright, the Japan-educated Tian Han in 1934 and set to music by Nie Er the next year in Japan for the movie Children of Troubled Times. It was adopted as the PRC’s provisional anthem in 1949. When Tian Han was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the march was briefly and unofficially. Restored to its original version, the “March of the Volunteers” was raised to official status in 1982, adopted by Hong Kong and Macau upon their restorations to China in 1997 and 1999 respectively, and included in the ChineseConstitution’s Article 136 in 2004.
The film’s progress, development and production is closely supervised by industry stalwarts, Ren Zhang, who previously worked on blockbuster films such as Outcast (2014, starring Nicolas Cage) and esteemed names such as Ding Yingnan (director of biopics of famous Chinese figures including Zhou Enlai and Sun Yatsen)