Guest / Limited Access /
The Children of Huang Shi
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(3 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for some disturbing and violent content)
Directed By
Roger Spottiswoode
Run Time
2 hours 5 minutes
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell, Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh
Theatre Release
June 13, 2008 by Sony Pictures Classics

The Children of Huang Shi is a bit of an odd duck for a summer release—a thoughtful, true-life historical drama tucked conspicuously into a season of explosions, guns, computer generated monsters and invincible superheroes. That it will be lost among the thunderous cacophony is a foregone conclusion. That it deserves to be is, perhaps, the only surprise.

George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a young, wet-behind-the-ears British reporter who sees his big break when the Japanese invade China in 1937, brutally subduing the population. Managing to get behind enemy lines, he begins documenting the apocalyptic destruction of the city of Nanking and the mass execution of its residents. It isn't long before George is captured. At just the moment when it appears his head is to be separated from his body, the cavalry appears in the form of Chen (Chow Yun-Fat) and his fellow communist insurgents.

Chen, an engineer whose expertise is in constructing buildings, now finds himself blowing them up to prevent their use by the Japanese. He introduces George to Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell), an American Red Cross medical worker who suggests George hide out in a children's orphanage in the rural village of Huang Shi to recover from wounds he's incurred.

The disinclined George finally acquiesces to her suggestion, but, upon arrival, finds the community in tatters. The boys, whose only adult supervision is a harried cook, have reverted to an almost feral state, more savages than children. George's presence is greeted with hostility, especially by the orphanage's alpha male, Shi-kai (Guang Li), who does everything he can to make George's stay intolerable. George perseveres and gradually begins winning the children's trust. As he adjusts to his ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueReply All
Subscriber Access Only Reply All
Responses to our July/August issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
Current IssueWhere Kids Get Their Political Views
Subscriber Access Only
Where Kids Get Their Political Views
In a heated election, Christian parents can model a measured response.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickRandy Alcorn: God Wants You to Find Your Happy Place
Randy Alcorn: God Wants You to Find Your Happy Place
Why happiness and holiness don’t have to be in conflict.
Christianity Today
The Children of Huang Shi
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.