Watch Devils on the Doorstep
- 2 hr 19 min
"Devils on the Doorstep" is a Chinese movie set in a small village during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Directed by Wen Jiang, who also stars in the movie, it was released in 2000 and won several awards internationally. The movie opens with Ma Dasan, a simple villager, discovering two Japanese soldiers tied up inside his house. They have been left there by his friend, who has gone away and left him responsible for them. Ma Dasan is reluctant to take them in, but he is told that if he leaves them outside, they will be killed by the other villagers. So he allows them to stay.
The rest of the movie follows the interactions between the villagers and the Japanese soldiers, as they wait for their fate to be decided. Ma Dasan is initially afraid of the soldiers, but he slowly warms up to them and develops a friendship with them. He even teaches them to sing Chinese folk songs.
The other villagers are less welcoming. They are suspicious of the soldiers and want to hand them over to the Chinese resistance fighters who are active in the area. But Ma Dasan is determined to protect the soldiers, and he devises various schemes to keep them hidden from the resistance fighters. For example, he tells them that the soldiers are his friends from out of town who have come to visit.
As time passes, tensions rise among the villagers. They are afraid that the Japanese army will retaliate against them if they are discovered hiding the soldiers. But they are also angry at the soldiers for their role in the war and the atrocities committed by their army.
The movie explores complex themes of loyalty, friendship, and morality in wartime. It also takes a critical look at the actions of both the Japanese and Chinese armies during the war. The villagers are caught in the middle of a conflict that they did not create, but they must bear the consequences of it.
The acting in the movie is superb, particularly Wen Jiang as Ma Dasan. He gives a nuanced performance that shows the character's bravery, kindness, and humanity. Kenya Sawada and Hongbo Jiang are also excellent as the two Japanese soldiers, bringing a vulnerability and humor to their roles.
The movie is visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography and a strong sense of place. The village feels like a real, lived-in place, and the lush countryside is both idyllic and ominous.
Overall, "Devils on the Doorstep" is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that explores the complexity of war and the human experience. It is a must-watch for fans of international cinema and those interested in the history of World War II.