Based on a true story, this horrifying tale follows two orphaned friends as they struggle to survive during World War II. Red Cherry was China's biggest domestic box office hit in 1996. Interactive menus, Scene Access, Pr... more »oduction Credits, Awards« less
Chapulina R | Tovarischi Imports, USA/RUS | 02/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This impressive film begins in the early summer of 1941, at the Ivanov International School in Moscow. Luo Xiaoman and Chuchu are two new students who have come to Russia after the brutal revolution in China killed their parents. As kanikuli (summer break) arrives, Chuchu accompanies her class to children's camp in Byelorussia. Xiaoman remains in Moscow. Then, Russia is invaded with the devastating fury of Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa". The western borders of the USSR are struck especially hard. By the end of the onslaught, only 25% of Byelorussia will be left intact. And Chuchu's camp is directly in Hitler's path. Back at the Ivanov School, the faculty and older students, Xiaoman included, rush to enlist in the army. But the Chinese boy is deemed too young for the front. "Red Cherry" is an uncompromising, horrifying story about two children's parallel experience of the war. Chuchu sees her teacher, Miss Vera, and classmates murdered before her eyes. She is spared by the Nazi commander, General von Dietrich, who admires her "perfect golden skin". He takes Chuchu with him, but he has a hideous fate in mind for the little girl. Meanwhile, Xiaoman becomes a bicycle messenger. His unhappy duty is to deliver notices of casualties from the front. One recipient of tragic news is an elderly blind woman who asks Xiaoman to read the letter aloud. He feels such pity for her that he makes up a congratulatory message about her son's heroic service and promotion. From then on, Xiaoman and the orphaned girl Nadya, whom he "adopts", regularly deliver revised notices from the front. But the front is swiftly advancing eastward, toward Moscow. General von Dietrich reveals that he is sick and dying. An amateur tattooist, he hopes to live on through his art. Chuchu's perfect skin will become the living canvas for the Nazi's undying fervor for his Fuhrer. Battle comes to Moscow, and Xiaoman will get his chance to fight for Russia. But his innocent imagination could not have predicted the outcome. Although heartbreaking, "Red Cherry" is haunting, beautiful, and recommended. Moreso, because the story is true. The two child actors are wonderful. The film is in Russian, German, and Mandarin, with English subtitles."
The horrors of war and the real scars that will last forever
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 10/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1995 Chinese film is based on actual accounts of WW2 survivors and is a testament to the horrors of war. It opens in 1940 when a young Chinese boy and girl are sent to a Russian school. There is a civil war going on in China and their parents have killed by the Nationalists. They are welcomed by their Russian comrades and the first half hour of the film is about their idyllic existence with kind teachers and an atmosphere of acceptance and learning. We see the youngsters enjoying childhood pranks and we smile at their antics.
Then the world suddenly changes. The Nazis invade Russia. And the children of the school become the victims of abject cruelty. Some of them are murdered, all of them are starving and there are moments of heroism as well as horror. The two Chinese children suffer, as do the Russians. The boy becomes a street urchin and eventually he performs some courageous acts against the enemy. The girl works as a virtual slave in a monastery that has been taken over by the Nazis. The commander sees himself as an artist and forces her to have an ugly tattoo glorifying the nazi regime on her back. When the Nazis are defeated she suffers the emotional shame of this.
This film has won many accolades including an Oscar nomination. I add my own accolades. It is beautifully photographed, well paced and horrifying to watch the innocence of the children despoiled. I wanted to hug the children and save them all. I felt their hunger and their shame and their will to survive. I applauded the small acts of heroism. And I wanted to reach out my arms and save these children.
This film is not for everyone. The war is depicted in gruesome reality. And even after the war ends, we understand that its scars will last forever.
Highly recommended, but be prepared to be upset by its theme. "
A wonderful film except for....
Leucippe | new york, ny USA | 02/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would have given this film 5 stars, but what is disturbing is that the claims that it was based on a true story are only partly true. Yes, the film was based on the true story of Zhu De's daughter Zhu Min, who went to the Soviet International Children's School at the age of 14. The film crew had contacted her and obtained her consent when making the film. But the most horrific and most unforgettable part was fictional (and there's the rub). Moreover, her father, Zhu De was not executed in China as a communist before the war. He became an important military figure and later leader in the government. (1954-59) as deputy chairman of the People's Republic of China. He was chairman of the National People's Congress (1959 -67), Communist China's major legislative body, until denounced during the Cultural Revolution . He was restored to his posts in 1971 and died in 1976. From what I understand, it is not unusual in China to call a story "true," despite the facts."
Definitely not a "1 star" film
Chapulina R | 02/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I almost missed this movies because the strong and negative review from the other Amazon reader. I am glad I took the risk and bough this DVD. It is not a bad film if we put aside our political view point and watch the movies calmly and fairly. Chinese or Russian are entitled to tell their stories from their point of view too."
Captivating movie with no plot . . .
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Red Cherry is really a slice of a biography of the lives of two Chinese adolescents. There is no real plot - they do not overcome anything by their efforts, solve any mystery, etc. There is no happy ending as they ride off into the sunset.
Still, this is a captivating movie showing both the cruelty of some men and the inner drive for survival of the victims. When it ends, you will not feel like it has been two hours since the movie began. Nobody would feel like they wasted their time watching this movie.
For those sensitive to such things, there are a few scenes that contain children, both boys and girls (but not together), totally naked. It is NOT, in any way, erotic, however. But it does give a sense of other culture's relaxed attitudes toward nakedness in contrast to typical American attitudes.
If you are trying to decide if you should buy the DVD, I wholeheartedly say, get it. Nobody I've shown it to has regretted seeing Red Cherry."