17 user 41 critic

Yi jiu si er (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama | 29 November 2012 (China)
1:43 | Trailer

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A deadly drought in 1942 takes its toll on central China's Henan province during the war against Japan.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lao Ma
Yuanzheng Feng ...
Xia Lu
Jingyi Yao ...
Jiale Peng ...
Qian Li ...
Master Fan's Daughter-in-Law (as Li Qian)
Huifang Yuan ...
Master Fan's Wife
Shaohua Zhang ...
Xia Lu's Mother
Xing Xing
Yi Zhao ...
Master Fan's Son


A famine with multiple contributing factors and devastating effects during the Second Sino-Japanese war is chronicled from the official perspective of reporters, generals, politicians and real families whose lives were forever altered by drastic measures they were forced to take in order to survive. Alternately ignoring the dire nature of the famine and its subsequent exodus of millions of people from the Hunen province, and minimizing its devastation to the outside world, the Chinese Nationalist government of the time is one which seems to be over burdened by ongoing war efforts and corruption in the distribution of relief supplies. Policy and private life are worlds apart in stopping the devastation shown through the portrayals of those who lived to tell the tale and their accounts of those who were not so lucky, of whom there were many (3 million.) This is a true story based upon Liu Zhenyun's novel "Remembering 1942," Zhenyun himself is the descendant of a survivor of the 1942 ... Written by zandernat-!

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Release Date:

29 November 2012 (China)  »

Also Known As:

1942  »


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,702, 30 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$308,871, 28 December 2012
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Official submission of China to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.182 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Ratings system a bit skewed ....?
10 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

Okay, first off, how can this rate 6.9 when by far the majority were 8 and higher...? Guess I could check my math but... gosh...

Next,a capsule statement: This is Chinese culture. This is something you'll never truly understand. But you should really try...

I have lived here in China a fair number of years (I'm Canadian). I'm still fumbling with understanding the culture. I mean a deep understanding, not Western superficiality. Try and recall, it's a culture of 5000 years, give or take. Western culture is sliver in comparison. Why? Because we in the West do not now live like the Greeks nor the Romans. Why? Because those cultures died. Sure, there are remnants, but sorry, they are freaking gone. But, the Chinese remain, contiguous, continuous, they never died. No one seems to 'get this'...

The world's oldest continuous culture. The West can't comprehend this.

Old culture is like 1970...

Moving on, it appears to me most professional reviewers (I use the term lightly) continue to judge Chinese movies in the context of Western cultural perspective. I suppose they believe that having thought they

deciphered French and German cinema, they now know the Chinese. Wrong again. No surprise frankly.

Chinese culture is so vast and so unfathomably deep, most will never truly understand unless you are born Chinese. It's called genetics.

It's called nature and nurture. It's called socialization of the human psyche. And it's very very very old... Western civilization is an infant in comparison.

But -- this is the greatest thing! It's called 'mystery'. It's roaming into a land undiscovered by yourself. Completely foreign. And then trying to piece together the meaning. It's like a treasure hunt.

Frankly, I've watched a lot of Chinese movies, sub-titled and not, old and modern. And these have frustrated me beyond belief. Even angered me. Why were they so damn depressing was my first argument. At the end I felt like crap. But also, it made me keep thinking, wondering, exploring this conundrum. It angered me, but it made me feel. It made me feel something I hadn't ever felt before. And I know foreign cinema.

This was different.

It made me think. A lot. About history, about China, about human nature, about cultural differences, about art. About everything; about existence, life. Its essentials, its irony, travesty, betrayal, joy, hope, good, evil. The complex mess we call human. (I use the term loosely.) I just saw this movie for the first time, shame on me. I have worked and lived in China for seven years off and on... Anyway, I had to give it a 10 due to the 'other guy' (euphemism of for dork) gave it a '2' because it wasn't a 'leisure' film. I think this pretty much sums up the problems in today's world. It's called 'narrow-minded'. And that's another euphemism for a word I prefer not to write, being a gentleman an all.

So, back to the point, another classical Chinese movie plot done with modern artistic verve. Classical as in almost everyone dies, anyone you thought was the hero dies, and no happy ending in the true sense. And yet done with a modern cinematic panache.

And as I said, a deep-thinker's movie, with many unanswered questions.

About life and living. About the true mysteries.

Take a chance and give your brain a cultural work-out. I'm still out here on the playing field trying to learn. See you there...

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