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History in the making

2014-08-14 15:44:18

(China Daily) By Wang Kaihao


Deng Xiaoping, played by actor Ma Shaohua, speaks to an actress playing former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in a scene from the 48-episode TV series Deng Xiaoping During a Historic Turning Point.[Photo/China Daily]


A revolutionary new television series depicts Deng Xiaoping and other former Chinese leaders. Wang Kaihao reports.

Many unknown details about the daily life of China's late leader Deng Xiaoping (1904-97) have been revealed to the public for the first time via a new TV series. The pilot episode of this 48-episode production, Deng Xiaoping During a Historic Turning Point, was screened on Channel One of China Central Television on Aug 8 to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Deng's birth, which falls on Aug 22. It gained 1.76 percent of the television audience, and the second episode reached 2.08 percent.

The production, costing 120 million yuan ($19.4 million), was made over five years, and was created after extensive interviews with Deng's family members.

It depicts Deng's life and those of many related figures since the end of the "cultural revolution" (1966-76) to Oct 1, 1984, when people waved the banner "Hello, Xiaoping!" during the National Day parade along Chang'an Avenue inBeijing.

Some sensitive historical incidents during that time, including the arrest of the "Gang of Four", led by Mao Zedong's wife Jiang Qing (1914-91), are depicted on Chinese television for the first time.

The role of Hua Guofeng (1921-2008), who was the country's top leader after Mao, is also depicted in a television series for the first time.

Actor Ma Shaohua, 59, plays Deng, speaking with a Sichuan province accent. The first episode begins with a typical day at Deng's home on the eve of a changing political situation.

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