One of the three biggest film studios in China, its location can add sense of desolation and sadness to movies. It is also a place for tourism, entertainment, leisure, dining and shopping.
Located 35 kilometers northwest of Yinchuan City, Zhenbeibu China West Film Studio sits on the site of two ancient castle relics built during the Ming and Qing dynasties to defend against the invasion of tribes from the north side of Helan Mountain.
Originally the strategically important location of two forts at the foot of Helan Mountain, these were destroyed by a massive earthquake. Reknowned Chinese writer Zhang Xianliang took over the site and Zhenbeibu is now one of the three largest film studios in China, and the most famous in Western China.
More that 140 scenes from famous movies and TV series were filmed in Zhenbeibu China West Film Studio. These movies often feature warriors on horseback, with epic stories frequently sharing similar themes to the bleaker American cowboy movies. The dusty ruins and barren landscapes enhance the feelings of desolation so popular in this type of Chinese film.
Recreated streets, markets and buildings have replaced the innards of the two forts. With the help of a little set dressing and costumed actors, these can replicate many periods of Chinese history. Covering the fantasy film genre, there are two cave sets – the horror cave and the mystery cave. Of these, the horror cave seemed the most popular with visitors. It contained monster costumes from a number of scary films, none of which I’ve seen. I was more entertained by the mystery cave and it’s very cheap props such as the treasure chest filled with priceless gold foil sweet wrappers.