SMG Pictures’ Liberation of Shanghai television series has wrapped up approximately three months of shooting. The series provides a comprehensive overview of the attempts by Chinese Communist Party members to rebuild the city and revitalize its economy after Shanghai’s liberation in May 1949.
The series is based on the award-winning documentary literature by Professor Liu Tong from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It was directed by Gao Xixi, who also directed the historical dramas “Three Kingdoms” and “The Imperial Age.”
It shows how the party is liberating the city and using its wisdom, faith and unity to address a range of political, economic and social issues. They successfully ushered Shanghai into a new era of peace, stability and development.
Based on true historical events, the drama focuses on the challenges city leaders face in the first year after liberation. Party members had to fight bandits and enemy agents to stabilize social and political order and restore the city’s manufacturing and trade.
According to screenwriter Long Pingping, stories from this period have great historical significance. You can inspire people to overcome difficulties and move forward in an era of great change.
The drama has 161 main actors and more than 14,000 extras. It features around 5,000 costumes and over 75,000 props. Shot with 4K cameras, the series also boasts stunning visuals.
It stars veteran actors like Zhang Jiayi, Liu Tao and Qiao Zhenyu. Zhang, known for his roles in the urban drama “Dwelling Narrowness” and the spy drama “The Brink,” plays the role of Chen Yi, the first mayor of Shanghai after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Chen, a native of Sichuan Province, is also a great militarist and politician and one of the 10 Marshals of the People’s Liberation Army. To portray the character, Zhang took director Gao’s advice to speak in Sichuan dialect for the role.
Gao said they hope to bring audiences back in time with vivid details. The series also pays homage to the people who laid the foundation for the city’s extraordinary achievements in the decades that followed.
“What touched me was a scene about the troops entering Shanghai,” recalled director Gao. “Several hundred thousand PLA soldiers slept on the sidewalk in the rain so as not to disturb civilians. This disciplined and people-oriented army won the respect and support of the people.”
Post-production for the series is ongoing. The series is expected to be released by the end of the year.