• Golden Globe Awards

A Man of The People (China)

A Man of the People tells the story of Chinese revolutionary leader, military commander and statesman Deng Xiaoping. The biopic follows the period when he was forced to retire from all of his positions and work in a factory between 1969 and 1973.
The Chinese regard Deng as the chief architect of China’s reforms. He was the most powerful figure from the late 1970s until his death in 1997. His reforms were designed to improve the socialist system and push forward modernization. He restored China to domestic stability and economic growth. Under his leadership, China acquired a rapidly growing economy, rising standards of living and expanded personal and cultural freedoms.
During the Cultural Revolution, Deng was sacked and sent to Jiangxi. For his safety, the head of the factory arranged a special road for him to travel to work in the factory.  For three years and four months, he went to work along this trail every day. Later generations called this road the “Deng Xiaoping Trail.”
Despite facing multiple high-pressure crises, he managed to remain firm and optimistic, and never changed his original aspirations. While working in the factory, he realized that poverty is not socialism, which laid an ideological foundation for his reforms and opened the door for his comeback to politics.
While all this was happening, Deng also cared for his eldest son who was paralyzed.
Screenwriter Wang Xingdong developed the script for 15 years beginning in 2003, and interviewed many people from the area for their memories of Deng. The project officially started in 2017 and began shooting in 2020.
Director Lei Xianhe has been influenced by the art of film since childhood. He often stayed in a small projection room and watched films over and over again. He studied photography at the Beijing Film Academy and after that, he went to the multi-disciplinary Changchun University. In 1991 he changed his career and became a film director.
Deng, played by actor Lu Qi, also co-directed the film. Besides Lu, the cast includes Yu Hui, Zhang Yamei, Zhang Yiwen, Zhao Hengxuan, and Song Yuncheng.