Bille August shoots film on Flying Tigers

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2015-11-02 10:04:38

Oscar-wining director Bille August shoots film on Flying Tigers

  Danish director Bille August.[Photo/Xinhua]

  HANGZHOU - Production on a film about an American pilot who was saved by Chinese villagers after his plane was shot down by the Japanese forces began in East China's Zhejiang province on Saturday.

  The film, "The Chinese Widow," is directed by Danish director Bille August, best known for "Pelle the Conqueror," which won both the Palme D'or and the Academy Award in 1987.

  The director said that he hoped to portray the warmth of humanity, even in the setting of a brutal war.

  The pilot in the movie, Jack Turner, was a member of the US "Flying Tigers" air squadron, who helped the Chinese during World War II.

  Several of these American pilots had to make emergency landings and were saved by Chinese soldiers and civilians.

  The visual effects will be managed by Chris Edwards, CEO of US-based Third Floor company, which worked on "Avatar" and "The Hunger Games."

  The film features American actor Emile Hirsch and Chinese actress Yu Nan, and set for release in October.

  Facts you need to know

Oscar-wining director Bille August shoots film on Flying Tigers

  Members of the 1st American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, gather for a group photo at Zhijiang airport in Hunan province during World War II. [Photo/Xinhua]

  Between August 1941 and July 1942, the Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group (AVG) led by General Claire Chennault, harassed the Japanese forces from the air.

  The pilots were all former members of the US Army Air, Navy or Marine Corps, who, under the provisions of an executive order signed by President Roosevelt on April 15, 1941, resigned their US military commissions in order to serve in China.

  Claire Lee Chennault (September 6, 1893 C July 27, 1958) was a retired US Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.

  The original Flying Tigers were the 100 American pilots and 250 American ground crews. The group consisted of three fighter squadrons, named "Adam and Eves", "Panda Bears" and "Hell's Angels", of around 30 aircraft each.

  The members of the group were officially members of the Chinese Air Force and had contracts with salaries ranging from $250 a month for a mechanic to $750 for a squadron commander, roughly three times what they had been making in the US forces.

  About one dozen of the fliers and more than 30 of the ground crew are still living.

  The shark-faced nose art of the Flying Tigers remains among the most recognizable image of any individual combat aircraft or combat unit of World War II.

  On 4 July 1942 the AVG was disbanded. It was replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which was the main fighting unit of China Air Task Force.