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Friday, August 01, 2014

Back to 1942

Back to 1942
no copyright infringement intended

The epic of a disaster: a whole province in central China caught by drought, the people having no choice but leaving their households, taking the large road toward unknown, toward some illusory place where they could find food. Winter 1942-43, war, the army looting the refugees, the enemy bombing army and civilians together, the mass of refugees becoming a mob, all moral values forgotten, episodes of cannibalism, the political leaders caught in a cobweb of petty politics, corruption, and ineffectiveness... the death toll being somewhere between one and  three million.

Other stories of war and famine will keep coming, repeating the same script, endlessly, going on nowadays and forever... and as always people around turning a deaf ear, pretending unawareness, if not taking advantage:

The story of the Honan famine rolled into Chungking like tumbleweeds blown by the wind.
"I heard from a man who was there …"
"I saw in a letter from Loyang …"
"In Sian they say that …"

A survivor's grandchild would tell the story, and based on his novel this movie was made in 2012. A movie with epic breathe, shifting from the mob of refugees to the regional leaders to the national level, up to Generalissimo (Chang Kai-Shek), coming back to the victims, one of the heroes repeating the story of Job, among all atrocities around, nobody's innocent, nobody's evil, it's just our human condition here, it's about us, humans, in one of our worst moments.

Back to 1942, trailer
(video by China Lion)

A survivor would say many decades later, there are innumerable instances of starvation and cannibalism throughout Chinese history, and when people are constantly confronted with death through starvation, how else can they deal with it other than by forgetting?

Back to 1942, the whole movie
no English subtitles
(video by xyc316)

A dramatic gallery of images from that famine, here:

(Chinese Cinema)


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