Not sure how long ago I added this movie, released in 2008, to my Netflix queue or how long it took it to rise to the top, but I’m so glad it did.
In The Children of Huang Shi (based on a true story), British correspondent George Hogg attempts to save 60 war orphans during Japan’s occupation of China in the 1930s. With help from a guerilla fighter and a nurse, Hogg leads the children on foot across over 500 miles of treacherous terrain.
This movie reminded me a lot of The Inn of the Sixth Happiness that stars Ingrid Bergman (also based on a true story). Same kind of orphan march with only a few adults to see them to safety.
This is not light entertainment by any means. It shows war as it is. It shows how the common people suffer and starve and die randomly when war rages around them. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is excellent as George Hogg. I came to care for him a great deal. Actually, all of the actors are top notch.
If there was swearing, it completely escaped my notice. There were some sexual situations, mostly implied. The movie is rated R, and I have to assume that rating was for the violence.
The Children of Huang Shi is ultimately inspiring. Especially since, as the credits begin to roll, several of the real boys—now old men—who George Hogg saved share a little about him. Had me reaching for the tissues.