Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Children of the Silk Road
What a thoroughly uplifting film! Sensitive and powerful directing by Roger Scottiswoode. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays George Hogg full out. The movie opens with this Oxford graduate adventurer at the 1937 Rape of Nanking, during the Sino Japanese War . George Hogg went on to help rescue 60 war orphans walking them over mountains on a 3 month 700 mile journey. George Hogg's character is as moving as the true life story of this incredible man.
Australian Radha Mitchell is utterly beautiful and believable as a heroic American doctor nurse patterned on Kathleen Hall a true life New Zealand nurse who George Hogg helped.
Unfortunately the New Zealand communist, Rewi Alley, who founded the Shandon Baillie School in Shaanxithe, accompanied George and hatched the idea for 'long march in miniature was written entirely out of the script. Historical revisionism though does not detract from the actual joy of the movie itself. Jane Hawksley and James McManus have written a remarkably moving script. Chow Yun Fat is superb as the partisan leader and the wise Chinese who saves George. Michelle Yeoh's eyes express worlds.
From Shanghai to the winter mountain passes, with strafing war planes and a hard working burro the movie has all the sweeping vision of epic while telling an intricate tale of romance and sentiment amidst of war and hardship. The boys are unforgettable! The cast and crew deserve special applause. A great and inspirational movie of a pivottal time in the life of the great people.