Devils on the Doorstep

December 12, 2010
past event image
Film past event

2000, 140 min., 35 mm, color and B&W,
in Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles.
Directed by Jiang Wen.
2000 Cannes Grand Prize winner.
Guizi Laile.
With Jiang Wen, Jiang Hongbo, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yuan Ding

Devils on the Doorstep makes every other film you see afterwards seem small.” – Steven Soderbergh, film director

“Grimly amusing” – Stephen Holden, New York Times
“Casting throughout is impeccable” – Derek Elley, Variety
“Deliriously intelligent and jokingly graphic” – David Ng, Images Journal

Jiang Wen’s savagely hilarious study of a small Chinese village located near the Great Wall during the closing days of World War II was a tremendous hit with international critics: two prisoners tied up in sacks are abruptly dumped in a peasant’s home, interrupting his clandestine late-night tryst with a young widow (Jiang Hongbo). The villager (Jiang Wen) is then hectored by a menacing stranger who only identifies himself as ”me” into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time they are to be collected. One is a bellicose Japanese soldier (Teruyuki Kagawa), hardly the ideal docile guest, and the other a reluctant, nervous translator-collaborator who improvises creative interpretation of his companion’s colorful rants. Will the townspeople manage to keep the prisoners and their sanity until the New Year?

– 2001 Hawaii International Film Festival Netpac Award
– 2003 Kinema Junpo Award for Best Supporting Actor (Teruyuki Kagawa Also) and Best Foreign Language Film Director Jiang Wen
– 2003 Mainichi Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Part of the series: Shadows of the Rising Sun: Cinema and Empire

$12/$9 Japan Society members, students & seniors

Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm.

  • Sunday, December 12, 2010
  • 4:00 pm