Well, it’s certainly….earnest. Boasting a dramatic historical event, handsome production design and a couple of Hollywood stars to boot, Feng Xiogang (“Aftershock,” “The Banquet“) will be hoping to wow the crowds when “Back to 1942” screens at the upcoming Rome Film Festival.
Based on a novel by Liu Zhenyun, and starring Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins, the film the chronicles the deadly 1942 drought in China’s Henan province during the war against Japan. Sounds like some heavy stuff indeed, but also potentially powerful we suppose. Here’s the full synopsis:
In 1942, Henan province was devastated by the most tragic famine in modern Chinese history, resulting in the deaths of at least three million men, women and children. Although the primary cause of the famine was a severe drought, it was exacerbated by locusts, windstorms, earthquakes, epidemic disease and the corruption of the ruling Kuomintang government. At night, hundreds of famished farmers descend with sickles and torches on the household of Landlord Fan (Zhang Guoli) in North Henan province. He holds the final stocks of grain in Laozhuang Village. Afraid of the angry mob, Fan prepares a banquet for them in his own home. But old feuds break out and his property is burnt to the ground in an accidental fire. Meanwhile, war is about to break out between Japanese troops and Nationalist forces in North Henan. The province’s full supply of grain is to be diverted to the Chinese troops. Realising the danger, provincial chairman Li Peiji (Li Xuejian) pays a visit to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (Chen Daoming) in Chongqing, but doesn’t have the courage to speak up.
As always, U.S. distribution still needs to be firmed, but keep an eye out as we’ll have a review out of Rome. Watch below.