China Film
10 February 2020

Zhenbeipu Western Film Studio

Constructed on the ruins of an old fortress outside Yinchuan in northwestern China near the edge of the Gobi desert, the Western Film Studio has been used in numerous epic historical films. Writer Zhang Xianliang first had the idea to use the site as a film location after spending time laboring on a nearby farm during the Cultural Revolution. The 1982 film The Herdsman, based on a story by Zhang, was the first feature film made here and one of the first Chinese films to get international recognition. Other noteworthy films shot here include Zhang Yimou’s Red Sorghum (1987), Hong Kong wuxia film New Dragon Gate Inn (1992), and Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time (1994). The site has continued to serve as a location for battle epics and adventure films, such as the 2009 Taiwanese film The Treasure Hunter, widely panned by critics for taking itself too seriously.

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