Deng biopic opens film festival

Updated: 2016-04-11 10:56

By May Zhou in Houston(China Daily USA)

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The Compact Density of Stone, a 2015 biographical film about Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was premiered on opening night at Panorama China as part of the 49th annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival on April 8.

Among the VIP guests on hand was Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin.

The film tells of Deng's experiences when he was sent to rural Jiangxi province in Southeast China in 1968 to work as a factory worker. His son was imprisoned, tortured and became paralyzed.

 Deng biopic opens film festival

Chinese actor Lu Qi (center) gets a red carpet treatment at the opening night of Houston International Film Festival last Friday along with organizer Dan Qi (left) and Ray Jiang (second from left), chairman of Panorama China. May Zhou / China Daily

After the Lin Biao incident of 1971, Deng revisited the city of Ruijin where he had led the locals in the 1930s. That experience convinced Deng that only reforms and economic development would improve China.

Lu Qi, who played Deng, and a few other actors in the film, attended the opening screening.

"There is not much conflict in this film, it's more about what Deng was thinking at that period of his life," Lu said. "He witnessed the hardships that people were going through. It affirmed his conviction that change was necessary to help people out of poverty. It led to the reform we saw later after he regained power."

"A film about a Chinese political figure being selected for the WorldFest means we have created a piece of good art," Lu added. "I am greatly honored to be nominated for best actor."

Actress Lily Chen Foster and her husband Charles Foster, who met Lu Qi years ago in China, also attended the opening night.

"I am very happy to see that the film festival is showcasing China," she said. "The films will give the audience opportunity not only to know more about Chinese film but also to know about all aspects of Chinese life.

"As a former actress, I feel it's my obligation to promote this event. This provides a great opportunity for the audience to meet the directors and actors, to ask them questions. I hope to see more Chinese films come to the US in the future," she said.

Charles Foster, who met Deng Xiaoping when he visited Houston in 1979, said he has always been fascinated by modern China history.

"I thought the characters of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping were realistic in the film. I enjoyed it. The story is universal, it's about survival, coming back against all odds. Deng led China into the modern world, in my view he's the greatest man in China's modern history," Foster said.

Ray Jiang, chairman of Panorama China, said that more than 60 Chinese films were submitted and 20 were selected to enter the film festival to reflect Chinese minorities, culture and life.

(China Daily USA 04/11/2016 page2)