During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »
This film was started before the Communist take over and complete under the watchful eyes of the Nationalists. Although it was filmed as originally scripted (and now seen on video), it was censored of its more politically sensitive material, although the overall message of the film wasn't pro-communist.
Briefly, the film explores the societal problems of the corrupt Nationalist regime of post-WWII China. It takes place in a house that has been commandeered by a corrupt, albeit minor, Nationalist official. The former owner, a well-meaning elder man, has been pushed into a small room in the front. The two other residents, a teacher and his family, and the family of a street merchant (selling American goods) also live under the whims of the greedy and ugly nationalist and his knaiving mistress. While not directly siding with the Communists, the film does portray the Nationalist party as a plague and any revolutionary change as good change. It even goes so far as to stay in touch with the current fighting at the time, with the defeats against the Nationalists playing a role in the film's progress, something the Nationalist government was undoubtedly upset by.
For the casual viewer, its a very old fashioned film that looks and feel much like any other film in the early 40's era -only with a slight change in scenery and culture. Its very watchable, the acting is quite good. The best feature was its frank expression of human greed as the weakness of society (its solution must have found favor in the eyes of the Communist officials).
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