Chinese sci-fi film 'The Wandering Earth' hits holiday box office
Updated 22:39, 11-Feb-2019
Cao Bing, You Jia

For many in China, going to the movies is popular during the Spring Festival holiday. China's first homemade sci-fi film "The Wandering Earth" hit cinemas across the country over the past week. 

A familiar scenario of the destruction of the Earth is presented, but this movie takes a different turn. Instead of escaping from the Earth, people in this Chinese sci-fi film boldly attempt to carry the blue planet along with them.

Written by Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin, famous for the novel "The Three-Body Problem," the story of "The Wandering Earth" maps out a 2,500-year-long plan to drive the Earth and flee the collapsing solar system.

"The Earth in my mind is an icon that carries all of our culture, our heritage and all of our past," said Liu Cixin. "Taking the Earth with us indicates that no matter how far we are going to go, we would never leave what we have experienced, and we would never leave our roots behind."

Liu Cixin attends the press conference of "The Wandering Earth" in Beijing, January 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

Liu Cixin attends the press conference of "The Wandering Earth" in Beijing, January 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

China's first domestic science fiction film is winning both acclaim and at the box office. Some were overwhelmed by the imagination and visual effects. And others were impressed by the portrayal of Chinese culture and values.

"Different from Hollywood films, we don't have a superhero in 'The Wandering Earth.' People try to save others and the planet out of their deep emotions and love for our homeland," Liu Cixin said. 

Though the whole process was not easy, the film is proof that the industry in China has matured enough to develop new ideas on the creative basis of science-fiction writers. 

"I was doubted by many. They doubted why I was chosen to direct the film, they also doubted whether we could write a good script and make good visual designs," said Frant Gwo, director of the film. "But I wrote one line in the film: 'The essence of the wandering Earth is not only to survive, but the courage to take the first step out of the solar system.' This is also what I want to say to myself."

The 2,500-year plan to free the Earth from our solar system is a journey of determination and hope. So too is this film, a product of hard work and optimism for the sci-fi genre in China.