The Christian Science Monitor

Eying next generation of patriots, Beijing propaganda tries a new look

The Chinese teen idol Lu Han appears for only a few seconds in “The Founding of an Army,” China’s latest propaganda film, but even a little screen time is enough to rev up his biggest fans.

At a showing earlier this month, the crowd chanted Mr. Lu’s name when he appeared on screen. “The shouting was even longer than the time he appeared in the movie,” wrote one moviegoer on Weibo, a microblogging site.

Lu is one of at least three “little fresh meat,” as young stars are called – in “The Founding of an Army,”as a war epic with “youthful revolutionary elements.” The Chinese government commissioned the film to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. It opened in late July, and has since become one of the summer’s biggest hits.

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