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Movie 'The Way Back Home' resonates with audiences

By Lu Hongyan in Xi’an | | Updated: 2020-10-16 17:14
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The film 'My Hometown and I' has been highly praised by national audiences since its release on Oct 1 and the 'Way Back Home' section of the film, starring Deng Chao and Yan Ni, has aroused a particularly strong reaction among viewers because of its tension-filled performances, humorous and moving plot, and memorable scenes.

A scene from the movie's section 'The Way Back Home'.

The Way Back Home tells the moving story of Qiao Shulin, a sand controller in northern Shaanxi, who leads the villagers to first control the sand and then get rich by starting the 'sand apple' project, turning the desert into a center of fruit growing.

The Mu Us desert in the story is one of the four largest sandy areas in China. After years of control, the desert, which was full of sparse grass and yellow sand, has become a promising field of green trees.

The protagonist of the story, Qiao Shulin, represents a typical member of the Yulin people, who love their hometown and dare to struggle.

There are two archetypal characters.

One is Zhang Yinglong, who was a senior executive of a foreign enterprise in Beijing. In 2003, he gave up his high salary and saved more than 3 million yuan of self-raised funds. He resigned and returned to his hometown of Shenmu county, Yulin city, to control desertification there.

Over a period of 17 years, he successfully managed more than 400,000 mu of desert with scientific methods, planned and developed a variety of related industries, and achieved many important scientific research results.

Zhang Yinglong (pictured with glasses) demonstrates the pruning of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica to a worker.

The other is Zhang Binggui, 80 years old, a Party member and former engineer of the Water and Soil Conservation Bureau of Hengshan County, Yulin city. After retiring in 2003, Zhang returned to his hometown to contract 300 mu of barren land for sand control and apple planting. After more than ten years of trial and error, he finally achieved success, adding a new way for his hometown to become rich and earn an income.

Zhang Binggui and his sand apple.

In Yulin, northern Shaanxi, there are still many sand control people like Zhang Yinglong and Zhang Binggui. Because of sand control people like them, the Mu Us desert, covering an area of more than 40,000 square kilometers, has become a beautiful place with green trees, a pleasant climate and the rapid development of desert agriculture.

After retiring, Gao Yongdong, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of Yulin Municipal People's Congress, resolutely returned to his hometown to lead villagers in developing a folk custom experience tour in northern Shaanxi, making Chiniudi village a national AAA scenic spot. Last year, the average annual income of villagers reached 12,000 yuan.

Thanks to these desert control efforts, Jiaxian County, formerly a national poverty-stricken county, was named one of the top ten tourism demonstration counties in Shaanxi Province in 2015. It is the first provincial tourism demonstration county and whole area tourism demonstration county in Yulin city.

With desert control and tourism development, Jiaxian received 4.25 million tourists in 2019, and achieved a comprehensive tourism income of 2.25 billion yuan, successfully lifting itself out of poverty.

The great change of Yulin in northern Shaanxi attracted the attention of the unit crew of the Way Back Home, and it became the main shooting location for the film.

Although the movie of the Way Back Home is a story, it reflects the changes that have happened in real life. The people of Northern Shaanxi who love their hometown will continue to forge their wonderful and touching stories in this magical land.


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