WWII movie 'The Eight Hundred' to be released in Japan, offering Chinese perspective of Japan's aggression
Published: Aug 26, 2021 07:58 PM
The promotion material of The Eight Hundred Photo: IC

The promotion material of The Eight Hundred Photo: IC

Chinese blockbuster movie The Eight Hundred adapted from a real fighting story from the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) is scheduled to be released in Japan on November 12. The movie has sparked a discussion among Chinese netizens about whether the movie can give a history lesson to Japanese audiences. 

The Sina Weibo account "Sina Movie" posted the movie's Japanese-version trailer on Wednesday and reported the movie will be released in Japan on November 12, catching the attention of many netizens.

The related hashtag has been viewed more than 250 million times on Sina Weibo as of Thursday. Many netizens supported the film's release in Japan as it can tell Japanese audiences what the Imperial Japanese Army did in China during World War II.

The Eight Hundred, directed by Guan Hu, which topped 2020 domestic box office, mainly tells a story that takes place at the end of the Battle of Shanghai in 1937 during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. It focuses on a battalion of the China's National Revolutionary Army trapped in the Sihang Warehouse fighting alone against enemies over four days.

The defense of Sihang Warehouse came after Chinese army lost the district of Zhabei. Some 800 soldiers were ordered to resist the Imperial Japanese Army to buy time for the army to retreat and gain international support by showing China's determination to fight.

"I think this movie at least can give the Japanese audience a chance to learn about the war from a Chinese perspective," one netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

"I hope more Japanese people can get close to the aggression history and the pains it brought to Chinese people through watching the movie. First of all, can they stop using 'Sino-Japanese War' to whitewash the aggression?" another netizen wrote.

Japanese online media Natalie reported the release of the movie and said that the movie depicts the "Sino-Japanese War" of 1937. The Japanese-version trailer also used the same name, which dissatisfied Chinese netizens.

Japanese politicians' wrong attitude toward the history of aggression has always been strongly condemned around the world. Some Japanese senior politicians recently visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates Japan's Class-A convicted war criminals from WWII, angering Chinese netizens.

"The film can provide more perspectives for audiences as it shows what happened in the warehouse at that time," Shi Wenxue, cultural critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Different perspectives can help Japanese audiences to know and understand the real history, the critic added.