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When the revolutionary leader is on the ocean liner heading for China, the lifeboats on deck are too modern: they are painted bright orange and have built-in engines (note the propellers). The movie is set in 1911, so none of these characteristics would be present. Lifeboats of that era were rowboats, usually painted white. See more »
The goal of revolution isn't death, but to change fate. Young people are sacrificing themselves for the revolution, so that the living can lead better lives.
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Some propaganda tendencies but overall epic, detailed and entertaining
"1911" is an epic Chinese historical drama that honours the centennial anniversary of the revolution against the Qing dynasty. The movie convinces with great special effects in the battle scenes, beautiful and authentic locations, bombastic costumes, many intellectual words and impressive images and a bunch of great and internationally recognized actors such as the very unusual and surprisingly convincing Jackie Chan, the once again very diversified Joan Chan or the charming shooting star Bingbing Li. This movies teaches us a lot about Chinese culture and history and captures the essential of a complex story in a short and intense running time. Even for someone who doesn't know a lot about China, the introduction and the subtitles reveal and explain enough to understand and get into a beautiful movie even though the ending could have been a little bit more expanded. I think the movie could have focused a little bit more on the situation and the authentic everyday life of the Chinese population instead of focusing only on the fate of the famous historic characters.
Normally, this movie would have got one point more but I cut off one point because this feature has some elements that remind me of a propaganda cinema. Good and evil are too opposite and well defined and I'm sure that this movie is not always faithful towards the true history behind it. The good guys are wise, selfless and honest while the camp of the bad guys are one dimensional, egoistic and helpless. The movie tries to create a lot of sympathy for the main characters such as Sun Yat-Sen. In one scene, he convinces with his wise words only a bunch of ignorant, selfish and capitalist politics representing a very negative image of the Western civilization. That's a very romantic and epic scene but it's simply to pathetic to be true. This kind of falsification spoils the enjoyment of this otherwise technically perfect movie a lot. At least, after many American, Russian and German propaganda movies that I saw, this is a rather intriguing and also moderate movie with propagandistic tendencies from an Asian country.
Apart of this little but though important flaw, this movie is a definite must see and yet another great history flick from China that easily beats the boring patriotic American war movies that have flooded the cinemas of the world a decade ago. It's time for a change and from a qualitative and cultural point of view, I happen to find these detailed, epic and entertaining Chinese history flicks very addicting.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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