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The Children of Huang Shi

6.4
4,597
Ratings
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Original title
The Children of Huang Shi
Year
Running time
114 min.
Country
China China
Director
Screenwriter
Jane Hawksley, James MacManus
Music
David Hirschfelder
Cinematography
Zhao Xiaoding
Cast
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Producer
Co-production China-Australia-Germany-United States; Bluewater Pictures / Rouge Entertainment Group / Ming Productions / Zero West Filmproduktion / Sony Classics
Genre
Drama | China-Japan War (II). Historical. Based On A True Story. 1930s
Synopsis / Plot
Inspired by true events, THE CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI is a portrayal both sweeping and intimate of people who, thrown into an unexpected and desperate situation, discover their capacity for love and responsibility. It tells how a young Englishman, George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) came to lead sixty orphaned boys on an extraordinary journey of almost a thousand perilous miles across the snow-bound Liu Pan Shan mountains to safety on the edge of the Mongolian desert. And of how, in doing so, he came to understand the true meaning of courage. During his journey, Hogg learns to rely on the support of Chen (Chow Yun Fat), the leader of a Chinese partisan group who becomes his closest friend. He soon finds himself falling in love with Lee (Radha Mitchell), a recklessly brave Australian adventurer whom war has turned into an unsentimental nurse on horseback. Along the way Hogg befriends Madame Wang (Michelle Yeoh), an aristocratic survivor who has also been displaced by war, who helps the young Englishman, his friends and their sixty war orphans make their way across awesome (and rarely filmed) mountain and desert regions to a place of safety near the western end of the Great Wall of China.
Critics' reviews
  • "Tells an engrossing story of a remarkable man, but nevertheless it's underwhelming. Dramatic and romantic tension never coil very tightly, as the film settles into a contented pace. (...) Rating: ★★½ (out of four)."
  • "Sometimes the most compelling real-life stories make better documentaries than dramas. Such would seem to be the case with The Children of Huang Shi. (...) Rating: ★★ (out of four)."
  • "Roger Spottiswoode directs with old-fashioned style, avoiding the saccharine with realistic depictions of a war-ravaged China (where he filmed) and a cast well versed in stiff-upper-lip."
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