A historical drama based on the founding of the Republic of China when nationalist forces led by Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty.
I watched this movie while flying to China in 2011 when it was first released, after studying, reviewing, reading, absorbing everything I could about China. Historically it was very well done, the acting was outstanding, and the artistic license was held to a minimum.
Do not expect the schlock of American films, do not expect to be spoon-fed everything, this movie expects you to think. Expect and explore the nuances of subtly presented ideas, bring the historical context to the forefront, and contemplate the meaning behind each scene to one of the greatest periods of change in China.
Read about the revolution, the dynasty that ended, and the China that emerged. Research Sun Yat Sen. Quite a bit about him was left out from movie, researching him will add to your appreciation. A story about the 1911 Chinese Revolution headed by Sun Yat Sen, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty, tries to cover too much ground for those unfamiliar with its details. It races over three continents with a cast of thousands, concentrating on several key figures, with some of the smallest titles on screen to tell you where and when you are in 1911/1912. It is quite confusing and, on DVD very difficult to follow the names of revolutionary heroes and changes of place and time - it is not told sequentially! However, one gets the gist of a powerful movement led by a small group trying to overthrow hundreds of years of history and a mighty (if decaying inwardly) imperial apparatus. Jackie Chan as part director and star (as the General who led the Revolutionary forces) is very good in a character role, but some of the others look a little po-faced as they play national heroes. The main strength of the film is the revolutionary rhetoric and the powerful battle scenes - leading the way towards the Great War (why did not the West look at how this war was fought before killing hundreds of thousands to learn lessons?!)- which grip and horrify in equal measure, and even manage to show some cowardice! A pity a much longer film or TV series was not attempted so that we Westerners could understand things a little better! If 1911 doesn't impress as historical spectacle, neither does it rank high as a Jackie Chan film. a5c7b9f00b
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