If you were perhaps looking for a companion piece to The Flowers of War, in which a big western star (Christian Bale) played in a film about Chinese history, then Back to 1942 might be it. Here Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins are two men caught up in social and political upheaval in China’s Henan province, which in the film’s timeline is enduring the worst famine in modern Chinese history.

There’s a gritty look to much of the footage here that looks great; this is the sort of giant film that Chinese directors such as Feng Xuigang — who directed here — have been able to put together lately with increased funding at home. But there’s also an earnestly serious tone here that almost veers towards the unintentionally comic that I can’t tell if the film will play well. Regardless, check out the trailer below. Read More »

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