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Matt Damon and “The Great Wall”: a Chinese-American “合拍” Movie

Dec. 7, 2016


By 2017, Chinese citizens will become the world’s largest group of filmgoers worldwide. Each year, since the films “Lost in Thailand” in 2015 and later “The Mermaid in 2016,” Chinese films are breaking box office records each year in China! However, Chinese blockbusters have had a difficult time finding success with American audiences due to the language difficulties.

Since the “Kung Fu Panda” series of animated films have delighted American audiences with its depiction of Chinese culture, there has been a growing interest in American and Chinese filmmakers joining forces and creating movies that may appeal to both Chinese and American audiences, thus increasing visibility and profits. We are now seeing a new era of cooperation between Chinese and American filmmakers. In Chinese, we say that the filmmakers will “合拍 (hépāi) co-produce” an upcoming movie called “The Great Wall.”

Currently filming in China and set to be released in 2017, the most expensive film ever made in China will be “The Great Wall,” a historical fantasy led by Matt Damon and including a team of Chinese and American cast and production. The film is already grabbing news headlines for its depiction of western heroes in medieval China. It’s a unique chance for the filmmakers to “合拍 (hépāi) co-produce” a film that will mark a new era in entertainment!

If you can’t wait for “The Great Wall” to open you can watch a modern day love story here or these summer blockbusters that delighted audiences in China!

An example of “合拍 (hépāi) co-produce (a film)” used in a sentence:

“The Great Wall” shì yī bù èrlíngyīliù nián měiguó hé zhōngguó hépāi de diànyǐng.
“The Great Wall”  是 一 部     2016    年     美国    和   中国       合拍   的    电影。
“The Great Wall” is a film which was co-produced between the United States and China in 2016.

Interestingly, “合拍 (hépāi)” is also used to express that things are existing “in harmony,” or “in step” with each other, or vice versa.

Qiáozhì de bùzi zǒng shì hé yīnyuè bù hépāi.
乔治     的 步子  总    是  和   音乐  不  合拍。
George always marches out of step with the music.

Tā de xiǎngfǎ yǔ wǒ de bù hépāi.
他 的   想法   与 我  的  不  合拍。
His ideas do not square with mine.


1. An example of a 合拍 (hépāi) movie between China and the United States is:

A. Kung Fu Panda
B. The Great Wall
C. The Mermaid
See Answer

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