Back to 1942

Synopsis: A famine with multiple contributing factors and devastating effects during the Second Sino-Japanese war is chronicled from the official perspective of reporters, generals, politicians and real families whose lives were forever altered by drastic measures they were forced to take in order to survive. Alternately ignoring the dire nature of the famine and its subsequent exodus of millions of people from the Hunen province, and minimizing its devastation to the outside world, the Chinese Nationalist government of the time is one which seems to be over burdened by ongoing war efforts and corruption in the distribution of relief supplies. Policy and private life are worlds apart in stopping the devastation shown through the portrayals of those who lived to tell the tale and their accounts of those who were not so lucky, of whom there were many (3 million.) This is a true story based upon Liu Zhenyun's novel "Remembering 1942," Zhenyun himself is the descendant of a survivor of the 1942 fami
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Xiaogang Feng
Production: China Lion Entertainment
  24 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
145 min

Greetings to our compatriots

around China and overseas.


is the 31st New Year's Day

since the founding of the Republic of China

and the fifth.

New Year's Day

that we have spent

at war.

Since our declaration of war

against Japan and the Axis powers

on December 12 of last year,

our war of resistance

has entered a new phase

and China's war with Japan

has become a world war.

The duty of China

is now all the greater,

and the burden of our people and our army

is all the weightier.

We must renew and redouble our efforts.

On this first day of the new year,

I will discuss with the public

the past, present,

and future of this war.

Over the past half-year,

and particularly the past month,

our war of resistance has changed utterly.

Before, ours was a solitary struggle

within our own country

against the Japanese invaders.

Today, we have joined

Great Britain, the United States,

and Soviet Union

and other friendly nations

in fighting side by side

to rid the world of our common enemies.

Our burden

is the responsibility of

the Republic of China

to world civilization and morality.

As long as the Japanese invaders

and the Axis powers

remain on this earth,

as long as world civilization and morality

remain under threat,

we shall continue

to shoulder this heavy burden.

The outcome of this war

will determine not only

the survival of our nation,

but the future of all mankind.

Victory for China

will lay a strong foundation

for generations to come.


will push our people past

the point of no return.

My fellow countrymen...

From the winter of 1942,

to the spring of 1944,

a terrible drought

starved my home province

of Henan.


in other places, other

things were happening:

The Battle of Stalingrad,

Gandhi went on hunger strike.

Soong May-ling visited the United States.

Winston Churchill got a cold.



Yes, sir?

Did you feed the animals?

I was just about to.

When you're done that,

go check the granary.

That's all the grain the village has left.

Master Fan...

there's someone in there now.



Mister Fan... Sir...


I'm just here to borrow some grain.

I'll give you some...

if I can borrow you for a little while.

Mister Fan...


My wife's pregnant

and I haven't gotten a taste in months.

Mister Fan!

At a time when people are

starving to death...

how could you?


If it weren't for the famine,

you wouldn't be asking either.

Just one go

and I'll give you two pints of millet.

How's that for fair?

You animal!

I'll scream.

Don't! Don't!


Take this walnut too.

Your hair's losing its color.


The bandits are coming!

Every man to the village walls!

Bandits coming!

Every man to the village walls!

Bandits coming!

Every man to the village walls!

Bandits coming!

Every man to the village walls!

It's Ciwei, right?

When you were a pup,

your mother did laundry for us.

One time you pitched a fit

and I took you to go see a doctor.

Did you forget?


we don't want any trouble.

We're starving.

Just feed us.


I'll give every one of

you two pints of millet

to send them packing right now.


we would if we could,

but we haven't eaten in days.

There's no fight in us.




Get a horse and go to the county seat.

Alert the magistrate!

I don't think I can, sir.

Ask someone else.

Three silver coins!

I'm counting on you with my life!



all right!


show a little respect.

I'll give you a bucket of millet.

Go look for food somewhere else!


we're already here,

so let's not go back and forth over it.

Tonight, we eat with you.

Whatever we eat,

we'll pay back after the drought.

Come, come.

Dig in, dig in!

We've waited long enough.


Young master.

Take this.

Call out the rest of the villagers

to eat too.

We can't let these bastards eat all of it.

If they don't leave afterwards,

we'll teach them a lesson.

Yes, sir!


Quick, quick.



Landlord Fan's son said

we'll all eat together.

Afte rwa rd s

if the bastards don't leave,

be ready for a fight!

Eat up!

Eat up!

We moved all the valuables and the ledgers

to Mr. Ge's home in the

west end of the village.

No, no.

We'll cart it all into the city tomorrow.





From the county seat?

No! Japanese soldiers!


The Japanese?

Calm down, calm down. Slowly now.



There were Japanese

troops in the mountains,

heading for Puyang.

I couldn't get through.

Are you trying to get me killed, Shuanzhu?



We come here to ask for a meal...

and you call in the troops?



how dishonorable can a man be?

A moment of weakness...

I'll make it up to you.

Eat up, my friends! Eat up!

Eat your fill!

Eat up?

Eat this!

Master Fan!

Heaven preserve us!

My goodness!

Three pints of millet each! Fight!


My donkey!

Try me!



Save me.

Mister Fan?


My heart...

You thought I didn't know

you were trying to screw my wife?


Where are you going?

It's all gone crazy, boss.

Your son is dead!

My boy!

My boy!

Landlord Fan

never had faith in the Lord.

He was warned, and still he refused.

And now, having lost the

protection of the Lord,

he has gotten his just deserts.

You see?

What good did his wealth do him?

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Zhenyun Liu

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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