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Espionage series reveals a tumultuous chapter of Harbin's history

Updated : 2024-05-11

By ( e.my399.com )

A scene in the espionage drama. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
During the conceptualization phase of the hit TV series In the Name of the Brother, known as Harbin 1944 in Chinese, acclaimed director Zhang Li meticulously brainstormed potential titles on a large blackboard. Despite considering a title symbolizing the darkness before dawn, Zhang, renowned for the historical drama Ming Dynasty in 1566, ultimately chose Harbin 1944 for its significance in Chinese history.
Set against the backdrop of 1944, a pivotal year in Chinese history and a tumultuous period for Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province in Northeast China, the series captures the eve of the Chinese people's triumph in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).
The 40-episode drama centers on a Communist Party of China underground agent mistaken for his twin brother, who once saved the head of an espionage organization under the Japanese-occupied puppet state of Manchukuo. Assuming his brother's identity, the protagonist infiltrates the organization to gather crucial intelligence, blending historical accuracy with suspenseful storytelling.
The drama casts actress Yang Mi to portray the head of a spy agency. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Interwoven with foreshadowing and intrigue, the narrative introduces historical figures like Pu Ke, a 1940s film star, whose mention in early episodes unfolds as a pivotal clue leading the protagonist into danger in later episodes.
Exploring the Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army, a clandestine biological and chemical warfare division, the series sheds light on the atrocities committed by Japanese invaders during this period.
Featuring actors Qin Yao and Yang Mi, the series garnered a 1.9 percent viewership rating in its debut week, surpassing the 1.0 threshold for success, as audiences were captivated by the blend of historical drama, espionage, and suspense woven into the fabric of Harbin 1944.
The popular drama In the Name of the Brother stars actor Qin Hao in dual roles as a Communist Party of China's underground agent and his identical twin brother. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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