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Directed by Feng Xiaogang

China 2013 145 mins. In Mandarin

In 1942, Henan province was devastated by the most tragic famine in modern Chinese history, resulting in the deaths of at least three million people. Although the primary cause was a severe drought, the situation was exacerbated by locusts, windstorms, earthquakes, epidemic disease, Kuomintang government corruption, and the chaos of the Sino-Japanese War. Like his epic Aftershock (PIFF 35), Xiaogang Feng’s sweeping saga is a gut-wrenching account told through the eyes of wealthy landlord Master Fan, forced to flee both famine and advancing troops, and a Time magazine journalist (Adrien Brody) investigating the misery. “Feng Xiaogang has been called China’s Spielberg. Back to 1942 shows his mastery of chaotic spectacle, massed human motion, and elegant camera movements.”—Washington Post. This year’s Chinese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.