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The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  13 June 2008 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,630 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 31 user | 67 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jack (Chen Hansheng)
...
Guang Li ...
Lin Ji ...
Horse Rider
Matthew Walker ...
Anastasia Kolpakova ...
Ping Su ...
Imai Hideaki ...
Japanese Officer
Seiichiro Hashimoto ...
Urbane Japanese Officer (as Sciichiro Hashimoto)
Shinichi Takashima ...
Xing Mang ...
Young Communist
Ruixiang Zhu ...
Japanese Officer II
Yuelong Fang ...
Rou Ding
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Storyline

People thrown into an unexpected and desperate situation discover their capacity for love and responsibility. A young Englishman, George Hogg, comes to lead sixty orphaned boys on a journey of over 500 perilous miles across the snow-bound Liu Pan Shan mountains to safety on the edge of the Mongolian desert. And how, in doing so, he comes to understand the meaning of courage. During his journey, Hogg learns to rely on the support of Chen, the leader of a Chinese communist partisan group who becomes his closest friend. He soon finds himself falling in love with Lee, a recklessly brave Australian nurse whom war has turned into an unsentimental healer on horseback. Along the way Hogg befriends Madame Wang, 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 mountain and desert regions to a place of safety near the western end of the Great Wall of China. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

War made them orphans, one man made them legends

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing and violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| | |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los niños de China  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,760 (USA) (23 May 2008)

Gross:

$1,027,749 (USA) (10 October 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marks the first official co-production between Australia and China. See more »

Goofs

In the rail yard scene the box cars are modern steel types and the ties are a modern concrete type although the movie takes place in the 1930's. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Hogg: Shoot some hoops?
Andy Fisher: No thanks. I have to save my strength, I'm getting married on Tuesday.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 May 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Tsuki Koyoi
Written by Arne Eickenberg
Performed by Arne Eickenberg, Claudia Gubisch, Achim Kleiner and MFX
©2007 Verklangwelt
Courtesy of Verklangwelt
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Nearly Impossible Story to Tell or Believe: True Heroism
23 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI is a long (greater than two hours) epic tale that happens to be a true story of an extraordinary hero's life and gift to humanity during World War II. If as a film the telling of this story is a bit shaky in spots, it is probably due to the episodic series of events that happened very quickly and under existing conditions of profound stress. Yet despite the occasional misfires in production this remains a bit of history we all should know.

George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a journalist assigned to Shanghai in 1937 and with his colleagues he plans to explore the extent of the invasion of China by the Japanese. Under the guise of Red Cross workers his small band manages to enter Nanjing where now alone due to the loss of his friends to battle he observes and photographs the atrocities of mass murders of the people of Nanjing. He is captured by the Japanese, tortured when his confiscated camera reveals his terrifying photographs, and it is only by acts of fortune and the aid of a Chinese Nationalist Chen Hansheng (Chow Yun-Fat) that he escapes. Hogg probes the Chinese countryside for further evidences of the evil of the Japanese invasion, and he finds a village of children (adults are all absent) and realizes that he is in an orphanage without a leader. At first reluctant to assume the role of guardian of these impoverished and filthy frightened children, he soon accepts his responsibility and is challenged by an Australian nurse Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell) to become not only the caretaker but also the father/teacher/provider/role model these children so desperately need.

Seeing the advancing of the Japanese, Hogg decides to take his wards 700 mile away to a small village by the Gobi desert reachable only by the infamous Silk Road. It is this journey and the way both the children and Hogg are affected by the challenge that absorb the greater part of the film. Observing the transformation of George Hogg's view of the world is made credible by Jonathan Rhys Meyers' performance. The cast of children often steals the limelight, but with supporting cast members such as Chow Yun-Fat, Radha Mitchell and Michelle Yeoh as an opium merchant the story never lacks color and character. The look of the film is dark, but the message of this story is full of light. Here is a bit of Chinese history we should all know! Grady Harp


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