Historical Drama starting in 1839 in Guangzhou where British merchants dealing with opium are to be executed because the opium is destroying the Empire. After the burning of 20,000 boxes of...
See full summary »
Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, ... See full summary »
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
A documentary on China, concentrating mainly on the faces of the people, filmed in the areas they were allowed to visit. The 220 minute version consists of three parts. The first part, ... See full summary »
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »
In 1930s, Wu Qionghua was a housemaid of Nan-ba-tian, a cruel warlord of a village in Hainan Island, China. Often abused by her master, Qionghua was finally rescued by Hong Changqing, ... See full summary »
In December 1937, during the Second Japanese-Sino War, a Chinese doctor, his Japanese pregnant wife, their teenage daughter and their young son travel from Shanghai to Nanjing seeking ... See full summary »
Set right before the fall of Thailand's old capital, Ayuttaya, Bang Rajan draws on the legend of a village of fighters who bravely fended off the Burmese armies. With no support from the ... See full summary »
Historical Drama starting in 1839 in Guangzhou where British merchants dealing with opium are to be executed because the opium is destroying the Empire. After the burning of 20,000 boxes of opium by the Chinese England declares war, because the burned opium was the property of the British commercial attache who had bought it from the British merchants. Written by
Marco Radke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A fairly accurate depiction of the origins of the Opium War
The Opium War is an historical event that heralded the beginning of the end for the Qing Dynasty and the Chinese Empire as a whole. However, despite its name, the roots of Opium War do not only lie in the drug or its addiction. Opium, corruption, mismanagement, and a gross underestimate of the West's projection power are only some of the many complex reasons that led to the First Opium War.
In Yapian Zhanzheng (Opium War), historical events are depicted in a fairly accurate manner, concentrating on the main facts and events. Different aspects of the situation are presented: the Emperor's dilemmas, British/Western interests, Commissioner Lin's character, the opium merchant, the corrupt officials, etc... The film however lacks depth and emotion. The viewer is kept on the outside, and cannot identify with any character, bar young He who is forced into the story so as to add a human dimension to the story.
From a historical perspective, the film also tends to simplify certain aspects of the situation. One would think that there only were half a dozen merchants in Canton, and that the whole war was caused by Captain Elliott. The power of merchants and their trade is briefly mentioned, but only incidentally, as are power politics at the Imperial Court and at Parliament, internal turmoil, national and international political strategy, and many other factors that led to the War.
Overall, viewing of this film is recommended to gain a overview of major events; certain scenes are also quite spectacular. But do not watch for an in-depth historical analysis or representation of the Opium War.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?