March of the Volunteers has been yelled out for half a century,
But have you ever heard the story of Nie Er?
The national anthem has been chanted for countless times,
But have you ever hearkened to Nie Er?
Young Nie Er took an active part in the students’ movements. To elude capture by military police, he bade farewell to his hometown and first love Yun Xi and escaped to Shanghai with his music dream, only to struggle for a living. Then a rare chance occurred when he demonstrated his musical talent and got appreciated by Boss Li from Bright Moon Club, secret Communist leader Xia Ping and famous singer Tian Tian.
After the outbreak of Songhu Anti-Japanese War, Nie Er followed Bright Moon Club to condole the casualties in the 19th Route Army, only to be condemned by the soldier for his “soft music and graceful dancing”. He awakened all of a sudden and got determined to become a musician who complied with the aspirations of the people. For this, he didn’t even scruple to “break” from his respected teacher Boss Li.
Under the guidance of Xia Ping, Nie Er composed for many progressive films and created many popular songs. Tian Tian expressed her love for him, but Nie Er couldn’t forget Yun Xi and the hometown ballads she sang. Yun Xi’s parents heard various rumors about Nie Erin in Shanghai and forced Yun Xi to marry other people. In order to resist the policy of “Pacifying the Interior before Resisting the Foreign Aggression ”, Nie Er and others put Tian Han’s anti-Japanese drama Song of Rejuvenation, which triggered the fury of Director Jia who was keen on performing “bandit suppression”. He tried to use the dignity of the leading figure Boss Li to suppress Nie Er. Unexpectedly, Boss Li took out an anti-Japanese song he composed and invited the group of Nie Er for an audition. Nie Er reconciled with his teacher and joy was overflowing among all people. Being outraged by humiliation, Director Jia ordered to arrest Nie Er.
However, Nie Er came out of the waves with a smile on his face, sunny and unrestrained as he used to be. He told people: “March of Volunteers has been completed! This is the loudest fanfare of the era.” He called upon the Chinese people unwilling to be slaves to march on, march on, march on and on!