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Gripping Chinese War Epic
on 13 February 2013
This is an excellent war epic and an interesting history lesson about a neglected but important bit of twentieth century history. My ignorance of Chinese history in the year 1927 raised the tension about who wins in the end. Is the armed communist uprising in Nanchang going to succeed or not? Will history be made or will it all end in disaster for the revolutionary cause? The idealistic Chou-En Lai thinks it a good idea and sets about to organise it. Meanwhile Mao brags about his accomplishments in swimming across the River Yangstze but does not take any part in the action. Meanwhile the reactionary KMT leaders indulge in their own machinations to try to stifle the rising.
The success of the uprising seems to depend on the wavering political orientation of an eccentric general called "He" as to whether he will use his troops to aid the communist cause or accept the cosy inducements of the KMT. "He" has a spiffing moustache and is known for his advocacy of Western food. An entertaining sub-plot concerns his beautiful niece who wants to get a gun and join the army to get revenge on those who slaughtered her family. The climatic uprising and battle of Nanchang is genuinely gripping, but I won't tell you who wins in case it spoils the movie for you...Will buy parts 2 and 3 to see how it all pans out...