Movie Review: The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

tcohs poster

The Children of Huang Shi is a biopic or based on fact film about a British journalist, George Hogg, who battled his own wars in an effort to save a group of Chinese orphans during the Japanese invasion of China. Saying it was just an “effort” must be an understatement, as he endeavoured to take them across China towards the Gobi dessert (some 700 miles away) as the war-stricken zones expanded. Protecting the innocent turns into desperation to save them — as they would be subject to conscription by Chinese Nationalists to fight the Japanese. The film proves well in depicting an emotional journey, a humanitarian story and unique perspective of war.

Synopsis

childrenofhuangshi

“The Children of Huang Shi” a story of eastern “Schindler’s List” (problogs)

“About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937. ” (IMDb)

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Mixed reviews come largely from two views: first being that the film is beautiful yet boring (lacking dramatic tension) — which to me just says a political & war drama with a humanitarian story at the core is not always “for” everyone. Secondly, some misrepresentations of facts by way of leaving out a character — which I say is a justified argument. All in all, the film aims to tug on your heart strings by showing just how much a person can really do — to make a difference. The star-studded cast, and their performances, hold up against the magnitude of the true-story and historical importance and are the cherry-on-top element to this epic film and story of war-ravaged China.

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Cast: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers // Radha Mitchell // Chow Yun-fat // Michelle Yeoh // Guang Li

Reviews: Political Film Society // Metacritic // Rotten Tomatoes // NY Times

aparoo’s words: drama, war, human, China, Japan, Sino-Japanese War, WW2, orphans, innocent, rebellion, Nationalists, invasion, survival

aparoo facts: the film is largely in English with some Chinese & Japanese language

aparoo facts: the film is a production between USA, China, Germany & Australia

aparoo says 4/5

Official Website

Official stills

Alternative posters

photo credit: movieinsider.com // slantmagazine.com

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