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`Seediq Bale' hits Chinese movie theaters

2012/05/10 12:24:02

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Taiwanese epic film "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale" hit Chinese movie theaters Thursday, with director Wei Te-sheng saying a day earlier that he is confident the movie will move the hearts of Chinese viewers.

"Seediq Bale," by far the highest grossing and most expensive Taiwanese film ever made, received enthusiastic applause from audiences in its May 6 China premiere in Beijing and a screening in Shanghai May 9.

Wei said in Beijing Sunday that it was not easy for the team to produce the movie, nor to get it screened in China, but he expressed hope that Chinese audiences can understand the story of the Taiwanese indigenous people's revolt against oppression through the film.

Asked about his expectations for box office takings, Wei said he was unable to give an estimate as he is unfamiliar with the Chinese market.

However, he said at the Shanghai screening that he is confident that he can move the hearts of audiences if they come to see the film.

The film will be shown in its truncated 155-minute international version to audiences across China rather than the full 276-minute original cut.

Wei, who is currently promoting the film in China with the film's cast members, said the shortened version is "more suitable" for audiences outside of Taiwan as it "strengthens the main storyline."

The film is a dramatization of the Wushe Incident, in which an indigenous hero -- Mona Rudao of the Seediq tribe -- led an uprising against Japanese military forces in the 1930s during Japan's colonial rule of Taiwan.

With a production cost of NT$700 million (US$23.85 million), the film has grossed a box office record of around NT$900 million in Taiwan since hitting local theaters last September.

It is expected to go into wider release in the United States on May 11 after a good box office on its opening weekend at the end of April.

(By Christie Chen)