Here are our top five Chinese war films. Go ahead and take a look!
In spite of the country’s long history of battle, China doesn’t produce as many high-quality war films as you might anticipate given its history. It’s all about quality and the movie here.
Chinese television dramas depicting the Second Sino-Japanese War have a tendency to be ridiculously terrible (in really dark ways). In terms of cinema, things are a little better, but they’re still plagued with cases of nationalism gone wild.
If you’re looking for some of the best Chinese war movies, we’ve done the legwork for you. Wolf Warriors 2 and Lust Caution are both out of the running since they don’t fit the criteria of modern, real-world conflicts, and substantial combat. We also looked for a spectrum of tones and structures in the storyline.
Whether you agree with our selection or not, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
5. Back to 1942 (2012)
As far as I can tell, the Chinese film industry has made a deliberate effort to reach out to global viewers since 1942 (Chinese: ). There are supporting roles for Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins in this historical drama set during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1942-43.
In addition to depicting Japanese atrocities, the film exposes the Nationalist government of China at the time as aloof and corrupt. In comparison to other Chinese war films, this one has a 7.3/10 rating on Douban (China’s IMDB), which is significantly higher.
4. Cow (2008)
On this list, this is the most outlandish film.
Although Cow (Chinese: ) has its share of violence, it is more of a black comedy than a typical “shoot-em-up” war film.
While the Second Sino-Japanese War takes place in the backdrop, the narrative of Niu’er, the villager who must care for a temperamental Dutch cow, takes place. Niu’er is strong in his commitment to his cow-herding task, despite the raging turmoil that surrounds him.
In spite of the customary mention of the Eight Route Army, Cow becomes a subtle reflection on the emotional toll of war in China. It’s offbeat at points, but the message it conveys is profound considering the film’s absurd premise. Cow receives a Douban rating of 7.8/10.
3. Death and Glory in Changde (2010)
The 2010 filmDeath and Glory in Changde (Chinese: ) is based on the events of 1943’sBattle of Changde and is visually similar toSaving Private Ryan.
Even by Second Sino-Japanese War standards, the fighting at Changde was ferocious. In a violent urban battle, Japanese troops confronted Chinese resistance while armed with chemical weapons. The Chinese title literally translates to “bloodbath, isolated city,” which isn’t surprising. On Douban, Death and Glory in Changde receives a score of 7.3/10.
2. City of Life and Death (2009)
City of Life and Death (Chinese:City of Life and Death) is a film about the Battle of Nanjing and the ensuing massacre, also known asNanjing! Nanjing!
The most gloomy film on this list, in my opinion, is City of Life and Death. Atrocities committed in Nanjing and subsequent military campaigns are vividly depicted in this black-and-white film. On Douban, Chinese netizens gave it an average score of 7.4/10.
1. Assembly (2007)
“Assembly (Chinese: )” is the top-grossing war movie in China. To this day, it remains the benchmark for Chinese war pictures, thanks to a compelling narrative and a nuanced take on nationalism. It reminded me of a Chinese Band of Brothers the first time I saw it.
This film, unlike the others, covers both the Chinese Civil War and the Korean Conflict. When a Nationalist onslaught wipes out his whole unit, a People’s Liberation Army captain has to find a way to redeem himself. Douban users in China gave it a 7.8 out of 10 rating.