Jackie Chan's 1911
This was the official website of the 2011 film, 1911. The content below is from the site's archived pages.
Release date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio:Well Go USA / Variance Films
Directors:Zhang Li, Jackie Chan
MPAA Rating:R (for war violence)
Starring:Jackie Chan, Joan Chen, Li Bingbing, Jaycee Chan, Winston Chao
At the beginning of the 20th century, China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor, and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen) is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power.
With ordinary citizens beginning to revolt openly, the Qing Dynasty has created a powerful, modern army (the "New Army") to quash any rebellion. But weapons are expensive, and desperate for cash, the Qing leaders are trading anything they can get their hands on with foreign countries… and selling China's future in the process.
Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare. When he finds his country falling apart, he feels he has no choice but to pick up the sword, leading an increasingly desperate series of violent rebellions against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army- several with tragic consequences.
From the walls of the Forbidden City to the battlefields of China, with no expense spared in production and no detail ignored in its quest for historical accuracy, 1911 is a true epic in every sense of the word.
At the eve of the Qing dynasty, Western powers exerted their spheres of influence and the resulting trade imbalance endangered the entire country. From the 1840 Opium War onward, Western Imperialists extended their control on Chinese soil. While parts of China were ruled by the feudal Qing court, other parts were administered as foreign colonies. Yet the Qing court continued to concede to foreign demands: the Manchus gave up land and control while exercising dictatorial powers over the Chinese people, creating great stress and strain on various social strata. The Western powers abused the Qing court to the extent that China was literally being overwhelmed, which alarmed many.
At the same time, Chinese people began to benefit from capitalism: business people accumulated wealth and a national consciousness on the political and economic front, reflecting the Chinese people's wish to be autonomous and their desire to live in a democratic society. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Chinese intellectual world had become aware of revolution and democracy and various organizations were established to promote these ideals: Xingzhonghui (Revive China Society), Huaxinghui (China Revival Society), Kexuebuxisuo (Science Night School) and Guangfuhui (Restoration League). On August 20, 1905, the Tongmenghui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance) was established and Sun Yat-sen proclaimed its founding principles: "Repel the Tatar barbarians, revive China, establish a republic, divide land equally." Tongmenghui's founding signaled a new revolutionary phase in the political development of China.
GENERAL DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
Despite having the title as General Director for 1911, most of my time during the production I was in fact serving as a consultant. Zhang Li is an outstanding director: he knew how to capture each of the scenes far better than I would during the shoot. But how to let the global audience understand and appreciate this film requires a delicate balancing act between reconstructing history and allowing for imagination. There are many battle scenes in this film: I'd provide my advice based on my own experience on how to choose between visually arresting action and the reality of battle.
Today we have a China that is relatively well-off, thanks to many before us who risked their lives, eschewed personal gains, honour and glory, giving themselves for the benefit of the country and its people. Every country must sustain a fair and stable society first, then talk about prosperity and abundance. We should all cherish and protect what we have around us. This is the important message that I want 1911 to bring forth.
Huang Hsing; (October 25, 1874 – October 31, 1916), Chinese revolutionary leader, militarist and statesman, was the first army commander-in-chief of the Republic of China. As one of the founders of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Republic of China, his position was next to Sun Yat-sen. Together they were known as Sun-Huang during the Xinhai Revolution. He was also known as the "Eight Fingered General" because of wounds sustained during the war. His tomb is on Mount Yuelu, in Changsha, Hunan, China.
PLAYED BY JACKIE CHAN
Born in 1954, Jackie Chan is a National Class One actor in China, internationally-acclaimed kungfu star and cinematic icon. Having made his name in Hong Kong with Drunken Master (1978) and followed by such hits as Project A (1983) and the Police Story series (1985, 1988, 1992, 2004), Chan ventured into Hollywood with Rumble in the Bronx (1994), which won him numerous fans in America. Chan's Hollywood hit Rush Hour series (beginning in 1999) sustained his fame for the past decade. Most recently, Chan scored another blockbuster with The Karate Kid (2010). Chan is not only an actor but also a director and producer. He has also devoted much energy to charitable activities throughout Asia.
Xuzong Han (1877-1944), formerly known as Peixuan, was Huang Hsing’s wife. Xu, affected by democratic ideas, promoted women’s rights and was an advocate for women’s schooling. In 1907 Xu went to Southeast Asia, joined the League in Penang, then went back to the League of Guangzhou and set up secret Jianfu other agencies, launched in February 1910 in the Guangzhou New Army uprising. Xu fled after the failure of Hong Kong and returned to Guangzhou to participate in the uprising in 1911; She was responsible for manufacturing and shipment of arms. When Huang Xing was wounded during the intifada, Xu took good care of him and escorted him to Hong Kong for medical treatment; they got married afterward.
PLAYED BY LI BINGBING
A graduate of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Li Bingbing rose to prominence in 1999 in director Zhang Yuan’s Seventeen Years. From then on, Lee worked with Hong Kong and Chinese directors, among them Feng Xiaogang (A World without Thieves), Johnny To (Linger) and Tsui Hark (Detective Dee); she also worked side by side with the best Asian stars, among them Andy Lau and Jackie Chan. Lee has been nominated and won many film awards in China and around Asia. As an advocate for the environment, Lee is dedicated to her work with many charitable organizations.
Sun Yat-sen (November 12, 1866 –March 12, 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the Founding Father of Republican China, a view agreed upon by both Mainland China and Taiwan. Sun played an instrumental role in inspiring the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China, which began in October 1911.
PLAYED BY WINSTON CHAO
Taiwan-born Winston Chao catapulted to international stardom in 1992 after playing the leading role in Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet. His collaboration with Lee continued the next year with Eat Drink Man Woman, which became another box office hit. Chao has portrayed the role of Sun Yat-sen before, most notably in the film The Soong Sisters (1995) as well as the title role of the television series, Sun Yat-sen.