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Delving back to a touching chapter in 1960's Inner Mongolia

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2022-09-05 16:43
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A scene featuring actress Ma Su, portraying an adoptive mother, and seven-year-old actress Luo Yichun. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In Search of Lost time, inspired by the tear-jerking story of China relocating 3,000 orphans in the early 1960s, held a premiere in Beijing on Saturday, in attendance were the cast and crew members and a lot of movie enthusiasts.

As the opening movie of the 12th Beijing International Film Festival, held last month, the upcoming film will open across domestic theaters on Sept 9.

Under the helm of Hong Kong director Derek Yee Tung-sing, the movie is adapted from a true story of children who were abandoned at orphanages in Shanghai as their parents from Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhu provinces were incapable to raise them due to natural disasters and severe food shortages between 1960 and 1963. Following the instructions of premier Zhou Enlai, these children were sent to be adopted by nomadic families in Inner Mongolia, as the autonomous region with vast grassland had comparatively more offerings of nutrients like milk and meat.

The film casts actor Chen Baoguo as a retired urban native to seek his younger sister, one of the 3,000 orphans adopted by a nomadic family in Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The movie stars actor Chen Baoguo as a retired senior who travels to the region to find his younger sister, who is one of the "orphans" relocated to Inner Mongolia at a young age. The cast also features ethnic Mongolian actor Ayanga and actress Ma Su as an ethnic Mongolian couple who adopt a young girl from a Shanghai orphanage.

Yee said during the promotional event that he had read almost all the available archival materials available to revisit the history of the subject, and that he quite enjoyed the shooting procedure, despite facing a lot of challenges ranging from "taming" wolfs for a wild scene to coaching hundreds of child actors.

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