*a.k.a "escape from huang shi" ;)

yesterday when i was in the queue with my heartkeeper for "wanted", i saw a movie poster right beside it, titled "escape from huang shi", showing close-ups of jonathan rhys meyers, the famous chow yun fat and michelle yeoh *i just can't stop loving them since "crouching tiger hidden dragon", go asian!! ^^* also an australian actress named radha mitchell. so that since yesterday i pleaded him like a child that i wanna watch this movie today, before he goes to klaten in the evening.

this movie actually has 3 titles, "escape from huang shi" is actually used in indonesia and singapore--as the english title, and in australia the title "children of the silk road" is used. but those 3 titles are not the matters. the movie itself is.

the US title

inspired by a true story, this movie is a portrayal both sweeping and intimate of people who, thrown into an unexpected and desperate situation, discover their capacity for love and responsibility. back in world war II, a young englishman war reporter named george hogg (jonathan rhys meyers) came to nanjing and witnessed such a cruelty events when a group of chinese savages were all killed brutally by the japanese invaders. he got himself caught and his camera was taken, he's just an inch away from death if some subordinates of chen han sheng a.k.a jack chen (chow yun fat), leader of a chinese partisan group, didn't shot the liutenant whose swaying his samurai right above hogg's bare neck. 

being wounded, chen brought hogg away to an emergency hospital of the red cross, and met lee pearson (radha mitchell), a recklessly brave american adventurer whom war has turned into an unsentimental nurse on horseback. hogg doesn't want to give up yet, and still insist to go to the frontline. suggested by lee, jack told hogg to go to a place called huang shi, not to the frontline, where he could learn much more than just war in front of his eyes.

lies in huang shi, an old abandoned boys orphanage runs by an old maid, where lee usually came to visit once every 2 months. those boys were all dirty, smelly, eat a small portion of steamed rice taken from a jar filled with maggots, and sleep beneath a rough woven mat filled with mites. they are pathetic, in short. as time goes by, hogg manages to create relationship with those boys. he repairs the generator and turned on the lightbulbs in every room, taught  english to the boys (and they taught him chinese in return ^^), taught them to grow up some plants and vegetables for their own consumption which seeds are bought from madame wang (michelle yeoh), an aristocratic survivor who has also been displaced by war, which later became his bestfriends, and gave him a book "the silk road" as a present. together with lee, he even made those boys to take bath and use the anti-mites talc brought by lee, and also build a basketball ring to play with them. it was a happy moments just before they realized that japanese troops are getting closer to their sanctuary, and they must leave for live.

helped with stacks of supplies from madame wang, together with lee and jack, hogg leads a group of those sixty orphaned boys on an extraordinary journey of 700 miles across the snow-bound liu pan shan mountains to safety on the edge of the mongolian desert, walk the way through the authentic silk road itself. passed along the chillest snowy mountain down to the sandy desert, they managed to stay together facing all the obstacles encountered, from a couple of japanese spies, the death of one of the boy, and the bitter fact that lee had consumed opium since years ago to muffle her tired and sick heart witnessing the war.

unfortunately, hogg got himself a scar when one of the trucks they borrowed from a kindly-heart judge in their way was broken, it was just a small cut in his palm, but those happy face of the groups turned out worries seeing their greatest savior fall because of tetanus, in times when lee also ran out of all her drugs and vaccines. tears are falling in their new home, a large old temple in a mountain near the western end of the great wall of china, when lee, jack, and those boys buried the most gentle man they've ever met in their lives. and within their heart, he'll be their hero for ever and after.

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