China Film
01 March 2020

Republic of China on Taihu Lake

The awkwardly named ‘Jiangsu West Taihu Lake Film and Television Industry Base‘ in Changzhou, northwest of Shanghai, is relatively new, established in 2015. It reportedly cost over $110 million to build and includes 7 indoor sound stages and 150 acres of outdoor sets and other facilities. The site is especially known for its use in Republic of China era TV series, and most of the outdoor lot consists of streets of early 20th century urban streetscapes. The 2019 film Liberation, which received a very limited US release in January 2020, was made there, along with TV dramas Detective Ke Chen (神探柯晨) and The Great Craftsman (筑梦情缘). When I visited, the only activity was a small crew of workmen working on signage for a new production. Wandering through these empty streets early in the morning was an eerie but fascinating experience.

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