Back to 1942
Back to 1942 (2012)

A North Henan landlord embarks on a pilgrimage to Shaanxi province during the 1942 famine, struggling to survive as war with Japan looms on the horizon. His house beset by starving villagers, Landlord Fan (Zhang Guoli) endeavors to calm the… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 30, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013
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Critic Score: 36% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Mark Jenkins
Washington Post

"Back to 1942" shows the director's mastery of chaotic spectacle, massed human motion and elegant camera movements.

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Neil Genzlinger
New York Times

It catalogs agony without making you feel it.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The film could do with more pruning and fewer undeveloped characters.

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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times

Director Feng Xiaogang captures the epic scale of the exodus as well as the often-harrowing details, yet emotional connection proves more elusive.

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Jay Weissberg

Shifting between individual suffering (performed, not felt) and extended political and business deliberations, the pic displays its budget but not its heart.

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Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

A relatively even-handed account of a famine which killed three million people, but the storytelling is so careful that it fails to build much interest or emotion.

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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star

A chronicle of unrelenting misery, sorrow and human degradation that has powerful moments but is hardly uplifting.

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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter

There is surprisingly little emotional resonance with the well-drawn and acted characters, making it a tiring two and a half hour trek for filmgoers who don't have a stake in the history it recounts.

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Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

Disaster movie and war movie in one dramatic realisation of a dark chapter in China's history, Back to 1942 is epic in its intentions and its scope

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More reviews for Back to 1942

Flixster Audience Score: 62% Flixster User Reviews
Cameron Johnson
"Oh no, we gonna rock back to 1942, and then we'll take it higher!" For some reason, I can't help but think that when I see this film's… More
Panta Oz
Last night I had an opportunity to watch this movie in the half-empty cinema theatre in Suzhou... and that was disappointing. On the other hand, if you now… More