This week in cinemas: ‘Back to 1942’ (China)

This Thursday (Nov 29) sees the Australian cinema release of Back to 1942, a historical drama from mainland Chinese director Feng Xiaogang (Aftershock, A World Without Thieves, Big Shot’s Funeral). As seems to be more often the case nowadays, we’re getting it right after its premiere at the International Rome Film Festival (on Nov 11!)

The film takes as its subject the famine of 1942-43 in Henan province during the second Sino-Japanese War, and it looks like weighty material. Stars include Xu Fan (Aftershock), Zhang Hanyu (Assembly), and Hollywood actors Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. Writer Liu Zhenyun adapted the screenplay from his own essay, Remembering 1942.

Normally the poster for this sort of film is exactly like the one on the top right — serious men and women are composited in looking directly to camera, in front of the world going straight to hell. In many cases, it’s completely appropriate, but it’s also a well-worn path.

What caught my attention the other day was this alternative poster:

Now that’s something different. Kudos to China Lion or Huayi Brothers, whoever put it together.

The film will be screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Here’s a trailer:

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