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Devils on the Doorstep
Directed by Jiang Wen
Viewed at the San Francisco International Film Festival
One unusual night during the Japanese occupation of China, there is a knock at the door. Who is it? Asks Ma Dasan (director Jan Wen), ...Its me! says the voice
But after opening the door, with a gun to his head, he is forced to safeguard a pair of "bagged" Japanese POWs for a week. But when the week comes and goes, then the months, there is a point when a decision must be made (the death or freedom of the prisoners).
Jan Wen is very good as the farmer turned prison warden who tries to do the right thing. The characters are a good not great version of the Lower Depths
and just a little bit long, like waiting for Godot
and ends with Japanese savagery against the Chinese villagers. This must be one of the few themes allowed by the Chinese government to leave the country and into the theaters.
Reviewed by Eric Michel, FilmCities
|Country: China |
Run Time: 139 minutes
Cast: Jiang Wen, Teruyuki Kagawa, Jiang Hongbo
Editor: Zhang Yifan, Folmer Wiesinger
Cinematographer: Gu Chengwei
Screenwriter: You Fengwei, Shi Jianquan, Shu Ping, Jiang Wen