15 October 2004 | t-i
Anti-communist propaganda at its worst
This movie is a typical example of American 1950-1960's anti-communist propaganda. Regardless of one's political persuasion, the portrayal of the Communist soldiers (and in particular the Communist colonel Ho San) is ridiculously exaggerated, just like the priests, who seem to be pure saints. A very black-and-white story, shot in colour. It can be interesting to watch as a historical document from a time of ideological hostility at the height of the Cold War, but as a movie it has few appealing qualities.
One thing which truly disturbed me was how the Chinese people were portrayed. The only Chinese characters who act like adults are the Communist leaders. The rest of them mostly act like enthusiastic but stupid children (despite them being adults), which reeks of racism. Just look at the thieving cook, he acts like a total imbecil. Not to mention Siu Lan, who seems to have the mental qualities of a 10-year old. If you're interested in Cold War propaganda history, or have similar academic reasons for watching this movie, then by all means do. Few movies are so outspoken as this one in terms of purpose. But if you're looking for some nice cineastic entertainment, don't waste your time.