1911 (film)

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1911 filmposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
MandarinXīnhài gémìng
CantoneseSan1 Hoi6 Gaap3 Ming6
LiterallyXinhai Revolution
Directed by
Written by
  • Wang Xingdong
  • Chen Baoguang
Produced by
  • Wang Zhebin
  • Wang Tinyun
  • Bi Shulin
CinematographyHuang Wei
Edited byYang Hongyu
Music byDing Wei
Distributed byMedia Asia Distributions (Hong Kong)
Huaxia Film Distribution
East Film & TV Distribution (China)
Release dates
  • 23 September 2011 (2011-09-23) (China)
  • 29 September 2011 (2011-09-29) (Hong Kong[1])
Running time
125 minutes
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
BudgetUS$30 million[2]

1911 (Chinese: 辛亥革命, also known as Xinhai Revolution and The 1911 Revolution), is a 2011 Chinese historical drama film about the 1911 Revolution in China,[3] produced to commemorate the revolution's 100th anniversary. Directed by Jackie Chan and Zhang Li, the film stars Chan in his 100th film as an actor,[4] alongside an ensemble cast that includes Winston Chao, Li Bingbing, Joan Chen, Hu Ge, and Chan's son Jaycee Chan. It was released on 23 September 2011 in mainland China and on 29 September in Hong Kong; it also opened on the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival later in October.[5]

1911 received mainly negative reviews from Western film critics, who criticized its unengaging propagandistic depiction of the revolution but commended its cinematography.


The story follows key events of the 1911 Revolution, with a focus on Huang Xing and Sun Yat-sen. It begins with the Wuchang Uprising of 1911 and follows through historical events such as the Second Guangzhou Uprising on 27 April 1911, the deaths of the 72 martyrs, the election of Sun Yat-sen as the provisional president of the new Provisional Republic of China, the abdication of the last Qing dynasty emperor Puyi on 12 February 1912, and Yuan Shikai becoming the new provisional president in Beijing on 10 March 1912.



Production started on 29 September 2010 in Fuxin, Liaoning, where a camera rolling ceremony was held.[4] After half a year of intense production, it wrapped up on 20 March 2011 in Sanya, Hainan.[6] It is Taiwanese actor Winston Chao's fifth portrayal of Chinese nationalist Sun Yat-sen, after the films The Soong Sisters (1997) and Road to Dawn (2007), and the television series Sun Zhongshan (2001) and Tie jian dan daoyi (2009).[7]


1911 was released on 23 September 2011 in China[citation needed] and on 29 September 2011 in Hong Kong.[1] It opened the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival on 22 October 2011.[5] It was released in its original version in North American theatres on 7 October 2011.

The film was unable to be released in Taiwan as it failed to meet the country's yearly 10-film quota on mainland China imports.[8]

Box office[edit]

The film earned RMB18.1 million on its opening weekend in China.[8] In Hong Kong, it earned only HK$1.0 million during its first six days in theaters.[8]

Critical response[edit]

1911 received generally negative reviews from Western film critics; it holds an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[9] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, it holds 37 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews,[10] e.g. on the Opionator.[11]

Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter largely criticized the film's "insipid, poorly structured screenplay", and wrote: "A mainland Chinese propaganda vehicle through and through, the film postulates history in such a scrappy, inaccessible manner that either as entertainment or education, it's a lost cause."[12] Rachel Saltz of The New York Times described the film as "overly faithful" to being a commemorative work that honors the 1911 revolution, approaching the event "like a great, bloody historical pageant"; she concluded that despite its "excellent" cinematography and engaging early battle scenes, 1911 "remains a kind of lavishly illustrated history lesson."[13] Stephen Cole of The Globe and Mail gave the film two out of four stars, criticizing its dour propagandistic depiction of the revolution, stating that "[Jackie] Chan’s film may be about a war and revolution staged in 1911, but it should feel like it was made in 2011. [...] If all his work was as solemn as 1911, he would never have made 100 movies."[14]

Derek Elly of the now-defunct Film Business Asia gave 1911 a five out of ten, criticizing it overall as "routine" and "unengaging" with its actors' performances "lack[ing] any kind of spark", and unfavorably compared the film to The Founding of a Republic and The Founding of a Party. However, Elly considered the film's cinematography to be worthy of praise.[15]

The Economist noted that while the film was endorsed by the Chinese government officials, ticket sales have been poor. It also noted that the film avoided sensitive topics, such as the reforms which led to the revolution.[16]

See also[edit]

Other screen works about the 1911 Revolution:


  1. ^ a b "辛亥革命 1911".
  2. ^ "Jackie Chan's '1911' Added as Second Opening Film for Tokyo Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  3. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 131. ISBN 978-1908215017. Retrieved on 6 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "The Xinhai Revolution Start of Filming Ceremony – The Official Website of Jackie Chan". Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ a b ""1911" Chosen as Opening Film of Tokyo International Film Festival".
  6. ^ "HKSAR Film No Top 10 Box Office: (2011.03.21) JACKIE CHAN AT WAR HAS ADRENALIN PUMPING".
  7. ^ Liu, Wei (8 October 2011). "Star shines as Sun". China Daily. China Daily Group. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Cremin, Stephen (6 October 2011). "Taiwan govt blocks release of 1911". FilmBiz Asia. Film Business Asia Limited. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011.
  9. ^ "1911". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  10. ^ 1911 at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  11. ^ "1911 Review". 29 September 2011. Retrieved on 31/7/13
  12. ^ Lee, Maggie (3 October 2011). "1911: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Hong Kong: MRC Media & Info. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  13. ^ Saltz, Rachel (6 October 2011). "Breaking the Chains of Chinese Feudalism". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  14. ^ Cole, Stephen (7 October 2011). "1911: Jackie Chan gets serious, and it doesn't work". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Archived from the original on 8 November 2011.
  15. ^ Derek, Elly (26 September 2011). "1911". Film Business Asia. Film Business Asia Limited. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012.
  16. ^ "Commemorating China's 1911 revolution: From Sun to Mao to now". The Economist. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.

External links[edit]