LIN Zexuis a NCPA drama commission co-produced with Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre to carry forward the national spirit and create cultural masterpieces in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. According to the history of which LIN Zexu destroyed opium at Humen beach, commanded in the Opium War, being framed to retire and banished to Xinjiang, and in the end passed away, the drama introduced the great man by focusing on the conflicts between him and political figures including Emperor Daoguang, GUAN Tianpei, QI Shan, and WANG Ding, to characterize his patriotism and pioneering spirit. From a modern view of national rejuvenation, the work looks back at 1840, the beginning of the nation’s years of suffering and struggle, to inspire patriotism and philosophical thoughts toward history.
During the Daoguang period of Qing Dynasty, opium exerts a widespread pernicious influence in China and impairs the empire to increasing moral weakness. A memorial to the throne astounds the court above and the masses below while the debate over whether to strictly prohibit the circulation of opium ends in a deadlock. LIN goes to Guangdong to ban opium smoking and trade under an imperial edict. LIN tries his best to turn the tide against the imminent peril generated by aggressive foreigners, greedy opium traders, corrupt officialdom and the treacherous royal court. He goes to battle without fear.
China descends into semi-colonial and semi-feudal society since the strong ships and fierce guns break up its defense. The important figures who determines the fate of the nation present their psychological struggles on the historical stage when it comes to upheaval. The outstanding contrasts between weakness and power, cowardice and bravery, meanness and greatness are uncovered.
From confidence of settling matters to confusion about how to restore dignity of the country wrought in devastation, LIN discovers the slim hope in the pride reflected in the people’s eyes which have witnessed the destruction of opium on humans. He says, “Before the event in Guangzhou I only knew about China, after it, I ca see the world!”