"The Opium War"
Directed by Xie Jin
Directed by Xie Jin, "the Chinese Spielberg," this
historical epic is set in 1830s China, when the Chinese government tried to
ban opium. British opium dealers, who had grown wealthy from their trade,
persuaded Queen Victoria to go to war for their business. The result was a
humiliating defeat for the Chinese, who were forced to surrender Hong Kong
to British control as part of the peace settlement. The movie follows two
main characters: Lin Zexu, the minister designated by the emperor to wipe
out the opium trade; and He Shinzhi, the son of a Chinese opium seller, who
survives the anti-drug campaign through his knowledge of English, which
allows him to work as an interpreter in Chinese diplomatic business with
England. With Pao Guoan, Su Min, Lang Xiong, and Lin Lian Kun. Cantonese
with English subtitles.