Zhang Yimou began his career as a cinematographer. His creative originality teamed up with Zhang Junzhao’s direction and a small crew consisting of thirty young graduates from the Beijing Film Academy. They were interested in shaping a new wave of second-generation war films in Chinese cinema. The Chinese cinema in the past had produced some fine war classics, but the crew of <i>One & Eight</i> wanted to create a breakthrough film in this genre.
<i>One & Eight</i> was inspired by the poem written by Guo Xiaochuan about the War of Resistance against the Japanese. Set in northeast China in 1941, the film revolves around prisoners in the custody of the Eighth Route Army during the anti-Japanese War. A beautifully written and visually stunning film, <i>One & Eight</i> captures the peculiar strength that men find in wartime. Originally shelved by the Chinese government, it was later reedited and released to the public.
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