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Youth in the Flames of War – Dylan Wang, Zhou Ye

Youth in the Flames of War (Our Southwest General University) is a youthful and inspirational revolutionary historical drama directed by Gao Yijun, dircted by Dylan Wang Hedi, Zhou Ye, Ye Zuxin, Hu Lianxin, co-starring He Peng, Wang Renjun, Wang Yuzheng, Wang Yuexi, Jin Zhihao, and Xia Meng.

The drama tells the story of a group of hot-blooded youths who, despite hardships, undergo severe trials and tribulations to become outstanding talents with the belief of saving the country through science.


Youth in the Flames of War

English Title: Youth in the Flames of War
Chinese Title: 战火中的青春, 我们的西南联大
Genre: Youth, Military, War, Romance
Tag: Chinese Republican Era, Revolution, The War of Resistance Against Japan, Historical Fiction
Episodes: 39
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Gao yijun, Wang Peng
Writer: Zhou Yu, Zhang Chanjuan, Yang Hong, Wu Ruojia
Producer: Zhang Liying
Released Date: 2023-04-23
Broadcast Website: 中剧独播



The history of the Southwest Associated University (SWAU), a temporary merger of Tsinghua University, Peking University and Nankai University in Kunming from 1937 to 1946, recreates the cultural resistance and self-improvement of young scholars and intellectuals during the war period, and shows the perseverance and responsibility of young scholars to carry out the great mission of national rejuvenation with a heartfelt sense of family and country.


In July 1937, Cheng Jiashu, who was studying abroad in the United States, returned to Beiping (now Beijing) and prepared to apply for Tsinghua University at the request of his father. Unexpectedly, news of live ammunition exercises by Japanese troops in Changxindian sparked anger among students at Tsinghua University and Peking University, who took to the streets to protest the government's inaction. Cheng Jiashu and his childhood friend Bi Yunxiao joined the protest, and met Ye Runming, a Tsinghua student, and Lin Huajun, a Peking University student.

Cheng Jiawen came to the war zone as a volunteer, hoping to bring Cheng Jiashu back home. He brought the latest news of the war: Langfang was lost overnight, and the Tianjin garrison retreated without a fight. Lin Huajun was anxious to hear this news, because Ye Runqing, the sister of Ye Runming, was a student at Nankai University. Cheng Jiashu immediately took his brother's car key and drove with Lin Huajun to Tianjin. The Japanese held a press conference and openly announced their intention to bomb Nankai. At this point, Nankai was already in chaos, and the secretary-general of Nankai University, Huang Yusheng, was organizing the evacuation of students and the transfer of materials.

The three school principals gathered at Mount Lu, and when Zhang Boling, the president of Nankai University, learned that Nankai had been bombed, he told reporters with sorrow: "The enemy destroyed the material possessions of Nankai in this bombing, but Nankai's spirit will be further encouraged by this setback and will strive harder." After the fall of Beiping, students and teachers from Tsinghua and Peking University spontaneously organized to protect books, materials, and experimental equipment that had not yet been transferred. Although Cheng Jiashu was not a student of either school, he also participated in the efforts with all his might.

After losing their campus, the students were at a loss. Ye Runming led everyone to publish a magazine in the hope of awakening the public. At this time, Pei Yuanzhi, a teaching assistant at Peking University and a member of the underground Communist Party, brought the latest news: the Ministry of Education had decided to relocate the three schools to Changsha and establish Changsha Temporary University. Bi Yunxiao's brother's troop was recruiting soldiers and was about to go to the battlefields of Songhu. Bi Yunxiao came to sign up, and his brother showed him hand grenades produced by both China and Japan. Bi Yunxiao finally understood that our army's defeat was not because the soldiers were not good at fighting, but because our military equipment was too poor.

Ye Runming paid a visit to Lin Huajun and persuaded her to continue her studies. Lin Huajun hesitated but ultimately decided to go to Changsha with Ye Runming to pursue her education, spurred on by Cheng Jiashu's encouragement. On the way to Tianjin, Cheng Jiashu deceived his older brother and escaped back to Beiping, but unfortunately he was too late - Ye Runming, Lin Huajun, and the others had already departed. Cheng's father arranged for his two sons and his niece, Fang Yuerong, to go to the United States. However, Cheng's older brother couldn't bear to leave their elderly parents and decided to stay in Beiping.

Cheng Jiashu and Bi Yunxiao escaped the pursuit of the Japanese army and met up with Ye Runming and others in Cangzhou. The incident of infiltrating Qinghua was discovered by the Japanese army, and they took over Cheng's ancestral home and property. Wen Yiduo, who was in Wuhan, received a letter from Lingnan University and decided to give up his position in the wartime education committee, bid farewell to his wife and children, and headed to Changsha. Meanwhile, Zheng Tianting, the school administrator of Peking University, who had just experienced the pain of losing his wife, stayed behind to properly arrange the evacuation of the faculty and students and then left with his five young children for Changsha.

Ye Runming and Ye Runqing said goodbye to their parents and boarded the train to Changsha with Cheng Jiashu, Lin Huajun, and others. Pei Yuanzhi and Fang Yuerong arrived in Changsha ahead of them. Under the leadership of the interim provincial committee in Hunan, the Changsha Lin Da Party Branch was officially established. The chaotic situation in Changsha Lin Da caught everyone off guard. There was a severe shortage of classrooms and buildings, and everyone had to sleep on the floor. When would it be possible to start classes under such circumstances?

Lin Huajun was asked by Cheng Jiashu to be his tutor as he had been admitted to Lin Da. The school decided to start classes on November 1st. Changsha entered autumn, and the continuous defeats of the Shanghai-Hangzhou-Nanjing Campaign brought a large number of wounded and refugees to the city. The students took the initiative to help the wounded and assist the refugees. The grim scenes on the streets extinguished the enthusiasm that had just been ignited by the great victory, and the students realized that the war against Japan could not be won in a short time.

The harsh environment made the students realize that nothing comes easy. Cheng Jiashu worked even harder and was able to achieve excellent results in all subjects, allowing him to be accepted into the prestigious university, Lin Da. Cheng Jiashu wrote a letter to his family in Beiping to share the good news, which brought great relief to the Cheng family who had been left destitute due to the Japanese invasion. However, the burden of supporting the family fell solely on Cheng Jiawen's shoulders, forcing him to work for the puppet government in Beiping.

The classmates participated in the rehearsal of the play "Dawn". Cheng Jiashu and Lin Huajun stayed up all night revising the script and their performance was recognized by everyone. New student Wen Zhe acted suspiciously and was caught by Cheng Jiashu and Bi Yunxiao, who mistook him for a spy. However, it turned out to be a misunderstanding. Although Cheng Jiashu and Bi Yunxiao apologized to Wen Zhe, he held a grudge against Cheng Jiashu and was very angry with him.


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