Comrade in Arms
Release year: 2011
Run time: 92 mins
Film type: Documentary
In August 2009, the comrades-in-arms who had enlisted in the Kunming Military District Defense Arts Troupe in 1959 gathered in Kunming for a reunion, almost half a century later. Upon their long-awaited reunion, each face showed traces of hardship and deep emotion. They reminisced about the birth of the Defense Arts Troupe in the flames of the Anti-Japanese War in 1937, followed by its gradual growth and mature revolutionary experiences. However, what remained unforgettable was the devastating Cultural Revolution, which inflicted great harm upon this "Red Artistic Team." Overnight, more than 300 members of the Arts Troupe were accused of being "57 counter-revolutionaries," and Bu Qinfu, a female actress in the drama troupe, was brutally killed during a public humiliation parade. In 1985, the organizational structure of the Defense Arts Troupe was dismantled, deliberately burying a history of bloodshed and cruelty. The comrades continued to work diligently in their respective positions, waiting for a heartfelt "apology" from the Party and the government, which, unfortunately, had yet to be expressed. Meanwhile, the witnesses of history were being taken away one after another by the Grim Reaper.
Wang Yunlong joined the military art troupe in the 1950s as an actor and choreographer and participated in the Sino-Vietnamese border war. In the late 1980s, he began to produce documentary films, completing more than 20 works. Among them, Singing Praise , which reflects the transformation of a peasant writer, and To Justify Bu Qinfu , about actors who died in the Cultural Revolution, have been highly critically acclaimed.