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Review: 'The Children of Huang Shi'

A true story of rescued orphans sensitively brought to the screen.

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A little-known true story is sensitively brought to the screen in "The Children of Huang Shi," which is about the rescue of 60 Chinese children orphaned by war.

George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) arrives in Shanghai from England in 1938 just as the Japanese are taking control and enlists as a war correspondent. In occupied Nanjing he witnesses the massacre of 200 Chinese and is about to be executed himself when guerrillas led by "Jack" Chen (Chow Yun Fat) come to the rescue.

Wounded, George ends up recuperating in a rundown children's orphanage in rural Huang Shi, where the boys are slow to warm to him. Inevitably, he becomes their champion. He has an occasional accomplice in American nurse Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell), who was once Jack's lover. With the Japanese poised to advance and Chinese nationals on the prowl for young recruits, George decides to trek the entire brood to a safe village in the faraway Gobi desert.


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