The RAS is pleased to announce the next film screening: on 21 January, we will watch a Chinese blockbuster, the war film Assembly, directed by the prolific Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚).
In 1948, at the height of Huaihai Campaign during the civil war, a PLA Captain Gu Zidi and his 9th company of 139th division are assigned to defend a position at all cost. They can only retreat once the Assembly bugle call is heard. Gu and his soldiers fight fearlessly. Poorly equipped and significantly outnumbered, they suffer severe casualties. Seeing the danger of being completely wiped out, some soldiers claim they heard the bugle call. Gu, partially deafened, is reluctant to retreat and stays to fight.
The PLA eventually wins the battle. Gu re-joins the army and fights in the Korean War. When peace returns, he begins a one-man journey to relentlessly search for his 47 lost soldiers. The secret about the Assembly bugle call and what it entails is gradually revealed …
Assembly was a massive blockbuster success once it was released in 2007. This Chinese war film is a tour de force that is on par with Hollywood's wartime epics, but stands out with its heartfelt storyline. Teams from Korea were hired to strengthen the special effects in the battle scenes, which are intense but also visually entertaining. At the 2007 Hong Kong Film Festival, critics reviewed Assembly positively. "War is not portrayed as a cause in the film. The human element is the main focus. The sacrifices made by solders are to be honored because they are people." The film won the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography at China's Golden Rooster Awards in 2009. At the 45th Golden Horse Film Awards in Taiwan, it was nominated in six categories and won the Best Actor and Best Adapted Screen Play awards.