Back to 1942 (2012)
Magnificent and Heartbreaking Chinese Epic
17 January 2021
In 1942, China and Japan are in war. In Henan, the drought brings famine to the locals, but the wealthy landlord Master Fan Dianyuan (Guoli Zhang) has enough grains and food to supply to the villagers. Out of the blue, the village is looted by a gang of bandits that kills Fan's son and burns down the village to the ground. Master Fan is forced to flee with his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law and his servant Shuan Zhu (Mo Zhang) and they join the refugees. Along their journey, they are rob by the Chinese soldiers and bombed by the Japanese airplanes. Soon the starvation reaches Master Fan and his family with tragic consequences. Meanwhile he stumbles on the road upon the snoopy Time correspondent Theodore Harold White (Adrien Brody) that heads to Henan to investigate the famine and finds evidences of cannibalism among the survivors of the starvation.

The underrated "Yi jiu si er", a.k.a."Back to 1942", is a magnificent and heartbreaking Chinese epic, with the sad drama of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The plot follows the journey of the landlord Master Fan from his wealthy village to the need to selling his daughter to prostitution for food. The only problem is that it seems that in Mandarin the character speaks less to say the same thing in English. Therefore, it is hard to follow the English subtitles in the Blu-Ray and the end of some sentences is lost. But anyway, it is difficult to understand how an intelligent viewer can rate this film with less than eight. My vote is nine.

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