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War feasts upon death. Its greedy appetite carries away many a life on the battlefield, and soldiers must be ready to die at any time. Yet all these sacrifices can be given meaning and reason with honor. A weathered witness of war's insatiable appetite, Guzidi, Captain of the Ninth Company, will struggle his entire life to return honor to his forty six men and their self-sacrifice. The year 1948 witnessed the launching of the Huaihai Campaign during the Chinese Civil War. In one of Chinese history's deadliest battles, thousands from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nationalist Army (KMT) fell in the battle that took place between Xuzhou and Bengdu. It was amid this bloody fight that Captain Guzidi led the Ninth Company infantry unit on a sniper mission. His orders were to fight the KMT Army until the retreat assembly call was sounded. Yet, after many long hours of painstaking resistance, Gu watched powerless as the ammunition ran out and the scant ranks of the Ninth Company ... Written by
The film was a major box office success in mainland China. See more »
When Gu Zidi stands on the watchtower, his position changes between the highest and the second highest level of the watchtower. This is clearly visible since the highest level has no diagonal beams. See more »
I will definitely encourage people to watch this movie
I gotta say that in the first 40 minutes of the battle show, I did spot scenes from Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and the Korean: Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386064/). Actually, I'm not surprised at all, I mean who (the directors) wouldn't do the same thing? Some directors might curse Steven Spielberg for not leaving them much room to shoot a different war movie after Saving Private Ryan, and indeed this movie has, in my opinion, in no way transcended the 1998 war masterpiece. Still, I'd like to give credit to this Chinese director for his guts to do such a Chinese war movie that well handles battle scenes with great details, tells the audiences the past without being necessarily affected by current Chinese politics, and touches a lot of people simply because most of the story feels just down to earth and so damned real. I won't go any further on these points, because there's one more significant thing about this movie, i.e., it's the first of this director's works that could be appreciated by all the audiences other than those from mainland China only.
The director has been a big name in Chinese movie industry by the end of last century, bringing Chinese fresh outlooks about domestic movies. However, one could probably better understand the director and his previous movies only from a "Chinese" perspective. And when I say "Chinese", I mean you'd better be living in mainland China, excluding SARs like Hong Kong. But this time, as I said, it's quite different since anyone could understand and appreciate the story. It's a good shot to see how far Chinese movies can go internationally without the presence of Kongfu and male characters with long braid at the back of their heads, without the setting in a remote and underdeveloped Chinese countryside, and without bold and overused sexual scenes.
I read about this movie on the internet for the last few days, and it was this piece of information from a Chinese blog that drove me to watch it, and I quote and translate this information as follows: "... at 23:00 when the movie Ji jie hao ended in a Beijing's big movie theatre tonight, with no presence of any of the directors and actors with the movie, the audiences were unwilling to leave their seats, and along with them was only their tears and standing applause."
With no stars in this movie, it was reported that the box office hit 2,000 million Chinese dollars 2 weeks after the premiere in China. I will definitely encourage both Chinese and non-Chinese to watch this movie. And for those who might be interested in our ancient country, I recommend two other quality movies: Huozhe ("to be alive" 1994) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110081/; and Ba wang bie ji ("farewell, my concubine" 1993) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106332/.
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