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"Les Miserables" Comes to China

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.


This article, from the Mainland website Christian Times is about the opening of the movie "Les Miserables" in China. The author refers to it as a "Christian" film, and expresses hope that it will have an impact in China.

The Christian film, "Les Miserables," will officially hit Chinese theatres on February 28becoming the first musical motion picture in China since "Moulin Rouge" played 12 years ago. "Les Miserables" has already earned considerable money at the box office in North America and as it comes to China it will be sure to give moviegoers an uncommon feast for the eyes and the soul.

Directed by Academy Award Winning filmmaker Tom Hooper, "Les Miserables" is a musical epic with a cast of some of Hollywood's major names including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russel Crowe. The film's unmistakable message of redemption has prompted many evangelical pastors in North America to declare "Les Miserables" a Christian movie.

"Les Miserables" will officially land in Chinese theaters on February 28 becoming the first musical motion picture in China since "Moulin Rouge" played 12 years ago. As large portions of the film contain singing, the film will be shown in 2D in its original language rather than being dubbed in Chinese.

"Les Miserables" is one of the most popular films of Hollywood's recent awards season. Not only has it won several awards, but at the recently concluded 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, "Les Miserables" took away the award for best motion picture and best performance by an actor in a motion picture in the category for comedy or musical as well as best performance for an actress in a supporting role. Furthermore, the film was nominated for 8 awards at the 85th Oscars including best film, best actor, best supporting actress, best costume design, best makeup and hairstyling, best original song, best production design, and best sound mixing.

The film's story is an adaptation of literary great Victor Hugo's classic work by the same name and at its heart is the idea that no matter the person or how difficult the circumstances, people will never cease in their search for redemption. The ups and downs of Jean Val jeans life illustrate a universal truth: people need to experience true redemption. To see that true love and sacrifice remained with Val jean throughout his life, from his youth and his encounter with a benevolent bishop to the many sufferings he later experienced, cannot help but move viewers to tears.

Last year, the film's opening day sales in North America reached 18 million, breaking the box office record for a non-weekend Christmas day release. In Korea, after only a month in theaters, the number of moviegoers reached 4, 547,534, surpassing "Mamma Mia" and becoming the country's highest grossing musical and worldwide the film's box office sales were equally impressive.

So, what will be the response in China toward a film this powerful? At this point, the answer is still unclear, but one thing that is certain is that the story of "Les Miserables" and Jean Val jeans quest for redemption is something every Christian should see. In fact, prominent Chinese musician Wang Li Hong endorsed the film on his personal micro-blog stating that he hopes the film will bring something unique and refreshing to the people of China.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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