The Sacrifice - Jingang chuan (Geumgang River, 2020)

Youtube streaming video HQ

Text written 2021-09-01


Interesting !
This film was made to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese entry into the Korean war to resist US
aggression and to aid Korea. The war went on in 1950-1953. This is stated at the beginning of the film where a narrator is heard
and documentary footage in black & white is shown. This film IS interesting in that China is at War with the USA in this film,
something very unusual for most western viewers, or any viewer for that matter, to behold.

The US Deep State and Hollywood probably won't like it very much, as they're used to being the only one film industry allowed
to make Propaganda war movies (about wars that they have participated in), and I would guess that this film will be suppressed
from being shown widely. It was shot quickly in August -September of 2020 for an October release, however i haven't found any
DVD or Blu-ray release of the film yet. Is it because of the geopolitical situation today with the bickering between US and China ?
But the americans don't have to worry about this film as they're not really depicted as Bad Guys. Sure, they're in battle with the
CPV - The Chinese People's Volunteer Army, but we only get to see two americans, two fighter pilots plus the narration from an
old Vet, and they're No bad guys (OK, maybe one of them calling the chinese soldiers Chinks and wearing a cowboy hat, but
not too much) as the film are made by three directors and with segments of the film being shot also from the US pilots POV.

The Film - and the narrator tells us this:

At the end of the Korean war the CPV could go on the offence in The Battle of Kumsong, the last battle of the War, where
the final victor would be decided. A Division code-named "Yanshan unit" was ordered to reinforce the frontline, to cover
the right flank of the Main force in the general offensive. But, the CPV was badly equipped with weapons and they have to
cross The Kumgang River ( Geumgang) to reach the front. With engineers building the bridge and without any airforce they
have to hold it and to rebuild it with americans constantly bombing them and the bridge with bomber- and fighter planes and
heavy artillery. A slaughter and China supposedly lost almost 200 000 soldiers in the war against the US military.
But this film is Not about the Kumsong battle but about the Bridge, and the film could've been titled -

The Battle of the Bridge ..... or ..... The Bridge over the River Geumgang

Hey! I'm not very interested in military history and there are tons of info on wikipedia and elsewhere about the Korean War
and it's battles, and the names of the battle and the river i've used here are from the english subtitles of the film, maybe they
could be spelled in other ways. I'm not that fond of war action as War bores me and my favourite part of the film is the first
part where the Yanshan division soldiers arrives through the woods, to the river and it's beautifully shot.

We get to know some of the main roles, as i.a. Sergeant Guan (Jing Wu) and the Lieutenant Lao Gao (Zhang Yi), the latter who
won a Best Actor award at the 12th Macau International Film Festival. A festival where Guan Hu won a Best Writer award.
The film are shot by three directors and with some scenes seen from different perspectives, as the one seen from US fighter
and reconnaissance plane and the pilot Hill or Warthog (played by Russian Vladimir Ershov), but i'm not sure of who directed
what. The Parts of the film are 1. Soldiers, 2. Adversaries, 3. Gunners and 4. Bridge (The Bridge of Human Flesh).
In the end credits we see footage of coffins arriving to China from Korea with dead CPV heroes.
The Film was met well in China and held the Box Office No. 1 position for a couple of weeks after it's release. I've no idea if this
film will be properly released on DVD and Blu-ray or not, but i saw it on streaming HQ video on Youtube.

I found this film to be a Good War movie, but not a great one and not as good as Guan Hu's "The Eight Hundred". Because of
it's construction storywise with the same happenings shown from different perspectives it felt a bit repetitive, and also the film
was a bit too long with it's 2 hours 2 minutes. Some scenes used were also identical, but maybe the hasty shooting of this film
in august and september 2020 (to be released in october 23) had something to do with this ?

 

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