Last year alone, Chinese movie studios (nearly all of which are state-owned) produced more than 200 anti-Japanese films. Why? Because it’s one of the few areas that isn’t completely censored due in part to the lengthy occupation of the mainland.
As Reuters recently reported:
Some film reviewers in China say that with the censors declaring so many other subjects off limits, it is only natural that the war dominates story-telling in a competitive market for viewers and advertising.
“Only anti-Japanese themes aren’t limited,” says Zhu Dake, an outspoken culture critic and professor at Shanghai’s Tongji University. “The people who make TV think that only through anti-Japanese themes will they be applauded by the narrow-minded patriots who like it.”
Zhu estimates war stories make up about 70 percent of drama on Chinese television. The state administrator approved 69 anti-Japanese television series for production last year and about 100 films. Reports in the state-controlled media said up to 40 of these were shot at Hengdian alone. State television reported in April that more than 30 series about the war were filming or in planning by the end of March.