An exhilarating and entertaining comedy about a bizarre plan to steal a large sum of money from people consumed by desire. The main character, Dahko (Masami Nagasawa), is a confidence woman... See full summary »
Satomi is not putting much effort into her school work. She is told by her instructor that she is short of the minimum number of credits to advance. One option is for her to participate in ... See full summary »
Set after WW II, "Wagaya no Rekishi" ( The history of our family) follows the Yame family and its 7 members over the next two decades. The drama will provided a mixture of laughter, romance, drama and suspense.
At the initial announcement of the movie, GuoLi Zhang went to the producers, offering to perform the role of Chiang Kai-Shek, for free. Shortly thereafter, all of the top movie stars of China did the same thing, and offered to play roles for only a few seconds on-screen, free of charge. Eventually, it was concluded by fans that this movie was a measure of the success or level of profession of movie stars in China. See more »
I heard you intend to resign. Even if you were to resign, at least wait till after the capitulation ceremony in Nanjing. You helped defeat the Japanese. The ceremony can't do without a national hero like you.
If I don't resign, very soon I'll be blamed for the civil war. We fought against the country's enemy for 8 years. We've struggled, we've fought all, nothing more need be said. And now that we've won, we're still warring. Against whom ? Chinese people fighting Chinese people... this kind of...
See more »
The year is 1945. The two leaders of China's civil war meet in Chongching and agree to form a coalition government and prepare for peace and democracy.
For reasons that aren't entirely clear, one side - the Nationalists (KMT) under Chiang Kai-Shek - decides it rather prefers to go back to the war, and the Communists (CPC) under Mao defends the future of Chinese democracy.
Throughout the film, Mao is a benign presence. He's greatly admired by his followers and considerate even to his cook, mourning him when he's killed. He plays and dances with children. He is stoic in the face of disaster and he remains keen to include other parties (the Chinese Democracy League and even the KMT, although not Chiang) in a coalition government before bringing democratic reform. He takes decisions by reaching a consensus and demonstrates decisive wisdom by implementing land ownership reforms. At one point, and without any sense of irony, Mao says before giving a direct order, "I'll be a dictator for a change". Without any cities in their hands Mao plans a new country: the lack of a city for a capital is phlegmatically described as "inadequate" by the Great Helmsman.
Meanwhile, the KMT has problems. The party is split with factions conspiring against Chiang Kai-Shek. Assassinations are organised. Corruption in areas they control is rampant - it's "in the bones" of the KMT, says Chiang, revealingly. There are food shortages and rampant black-marketing. Chiang is apparently another benign presence, but seemingly impotent in the face of such problems. Elsewhere, KMT soldiers and agents kill pro- democracy activists.
The rest, as they say, is history.
But that's precisely the problem with the film: the history.
For overall, the film is a rather pedestrian telling of an alternative version of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Any sense of drama is limp like a balloon deflating, and thus fails. The dialogue is preoccupied with explaining events and giving background rather than (say) developing characters and it feels at times like a dramatised documentary. Indeed, in a couple of places, it even uses archive footage.
As we know, though, this isn't just a film: it has (another) Official History to tell and tell it it will, come what may. It is an Orwellian exercise.
The revision of Chiang Kai-Shek has been remarked upon above but the point missed. Chiang has been rehabilitated to a certain extent as a great Chinese patriot, although one who is mistaken. A key scene in the film occurs with his son: the KMT are deciding to negotiate with the CPC, and the proposal is that China be divided along the Yangtze River. Chiang himself says that this would be something he would never allow. This is in line with the "one China" ideology espoused by the CPC, and also by today's KMT, even if they can't agree precisely what that China is.
We know that Chiang and Mao were both ruthless dictators who both could be personally cruel and who both presided over corrupt regimes. Both before and after 1949, both were responsible for the murder of large numbers of their own citizens, although Mao wins the numbers game if we're counting corpses. We also know that the remarked upon land reforms of Mao - who is officially 30 percent wrong - were a catastrophic failure, while those of Chiang Kai-Shek in the 1950s were in fact a success.
Finally, we also know that democracy was never really the intention of either leader. The references to democracy in the film are surely in very poor taste when - as I write this - Liu Xiabo, the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace, languishes in jail and a number of his peers were earlier killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre of 4 June 1989 for demanding precisely that: democracy in China.
34 of 54 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this