The Children of Huang Shi (2009)

The Children of Huang Shi is a historical drama set during the invasion of China by the Japanese in the 30s. Based on the true life story of George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Davies), the film starts out as a promising historical drama that enlightens us about a little known period of history. Then Hogg finds love in the form of an Australian nurse (Radha Mitchell) and the film falls into the stereotypical Hollywood romance/adventure film; pushing the historical and humanitarian message into the background. Children follows the real life story of a British journalist, Hogg, who takes the identity of a Red Cross worker in order to sneak into Nanking which is sanctioned off by the Japanese. While there Hogg witnesses a mass execution and is captured by the Japanese. After being rescued by Chen Hensheng (Chow Yun-Fat), an explosives expert who is a member of the communist Chinese resistance group, Hogg is sent to take refuge at an orphanage for boys. Here he meets and falls in love with an Australian nurse, Lee Pearson (Mitchell). Hogg and Pearson teach the orphans language, mechanical repair and land cultivation. As the Japanese invasion becomes more urgent, Hogg decides to take the boys on a long journey through the mountains in order to find shelter in a faraway place. This true life story was definitely worthy of the big screen treatment,...

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