It is 1940. Chuchu and Luo Xiaoman are Chinese students who have been sent to study in Moscow, at the International School. She is 13; he is 12. Xiaoman is from Yanan, Mao’s base after the Long March; Chuchu had seen her father executed by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang. The youngsters fit in well and learn to speak Russian… A large group of students, including Chuchu, leave for summer camp in Byelorussia accompanied by their teacher, Miss Vera. Xiaoman remains behind… The Nazis invade the Soviet Union. Moscow remains unoccupied. Xiaoman takes a job delivering condolence letters to soldiers’ families. At one apartment, he finds a mother has died. Her very young daughter, Nadia, has not realized it… The summer camp is occupied by Germans. Miss Vera is murdered. One of the Russian boys, Carl, is half-German, and helps the others to escape. They are quickly recaptured. Chuchu and several other students are sent by Gen. von Dietrich to work as servants at Nazi headquarters in the Yakovliv Monastery. The general is also a medical doctor with a peculiar hobby, tattooing…
There is no real plot to speak of. It is mostly just some of the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of children. However, the visuals, acting and direction draws you in and never lets you go until the end. The movie makes its characters so sympathetic, that you almost ignore the political propaganda and concentrate entirely on their plight. War never looked so good, or more horrific.
If you are turned off by under aged nudity and child abuse, you probably would want to avoid this movie, however, you would be missing the cinematic experience of this or any lifetime.
Director: Daying Ye
Writers: Qitao Jiang, Wei Lu
Stars: Ke-Yu Guo, Hsiao-Ling Hsu, Vladmill Nizmiroff
Language: Russian | German | Mandarin
Release Date: February 1996 (Germany)
Also Known As: Red Cherry
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/mp41)
File size : 1.77 GiB
Duration : 2 h 0 min
Overall bit rate mode : Constant
Overall bit rate : 2 101 kb/s