Mo Yan's hometown

Saw the moveie Red Sorghem some time ago but only recently found out that it's based on a novel by Mo Yan, who just won a nobel prize. The sorghem fields shown in the movie are quite impressive - is that really anywhere close to Mo Yan's hometown Gaomi? Is it still like that?

Director Zhang Yimou did shoot sorghem field scenes in Gaomi County, Mo Yan's hometown in Shandong Province. However, there isn't much of wild sorghem growing around there nowadays. In fact, even back in the 1980s, Mo Yan told Zhang that the sort of sorghem field he depicted in his novel could no longer be found in his county, and Zhang had to have local farmers to grow sorghem just so the movie could be shot there. Gaomi is located in the eastern part of Shandong, about an hour west of Qingdao. It might be a plac of desolation back in wartime. Nowadays it is just crowded as anyweher one finds in Shandong. Gaomi is about an hour east of Qingdao the coastal city.