Sons of Good Earth

Sons of Good Earth is one of King Hu’s earliest productions. Being a man of the stage for years, he turned to something bigger; directing. Although this film is approaching 50 years of age, it is still a progressive milestone for his career. Seen throughout, it is visible that he is testing out fight sequences as well as creating his unique fingerprint in his work. Personally, I thought this was a great combination of action and comic relief when it was necessary. Despite having lackluster battle sequences, it is respectable for the time period. The best part of the film for me personally would probably be when the brothel owner was released from the Chinese jail while being occupied by Japan. When him and his wife happened upon the main character in the street, they could only walk away in fear of the military. Not only was it a distraction from the seriousness of the invasion, but it also showed a bit of foreshadowing. Assuming you’re looking deep enough, this would show that the weasel-like brothel owner would inevitably end up working alongside the Japanese just to survive. Although we may hate this antagonist, it’s important to realize that many other native Chinese were probably doing the same. Survival was key while they held out until the time came to strike back. Of course, at the end there is the cliché “girl waiting in the crowd” scene to tie everything together. Alas, these clichés had to come from somewhere so perhaps at the time it may not have been so unoriginal. Ultimately, I actually enjoyed King Hu’s early film. Through choppy fight scenes, decent acting, and a sum of popular actors, this film was pretty admiral for a beginning director in China in a time where film was no longer a fad, but a lifestyle.

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