Anti-Japanese War Veteran
Release year: 2015
Run time: 58 mins
Film type: Documentary
A veteran, Mr. Long’s life was full of stories. Yet, he lived his life in silence and never told others about his experience on the battlefield. There were many scars on his body and he got shot three times alone during the Battle of Mount Song. One bullet went between bones and the scar can be clearly seen.
Mr. Long went to war in the year he got married, where he received a letter from his wife. It read, “I’m going to remarry, may I get your approval?” Later on, Chiang Kai-shek was defeated and asked him to go to Taiwan together with the Nationalists. Mr. Long refused, saying “No, I haven’t seen my parents for years”. However, when he got back to his hometown, his parents soon passed away and his wife had been remarried for two years. After that, he never married again and lived his whole life lonely.
Mr. Long was called a bad guy and “soldier riffraff” during the Cultural Revolution. Afterwards, when people asked him about his experiences on the battlefield, he got scared, as political investigations immediately came to his mind. “I explained everything back then, why are you asking me to again? I’ve explained so many times”. In order to get rehabilitated, he kept visiting the leaders of relevant institutions. All his family tried to persuade him not to do so, because “You’re a Kuomintang soldier.”
His health was getting worse and worse, with severe stomach problems, no care from his children, and high medical fees. He said, “I can’t be cured. If I don’t die this year, I’ll die next year. There’s no point living for a few more years. I’d better die today and I don’t want to be a human being in the next life. It’s too tough”.
Only in 2013 did the Ministry of Civil Affairs officially announce the rehabilitation of these soldiers. The ministry promised that there were funds to deal with difficulties faced in their old age. When Mr. Long heard this, he could not conceal his excitement, trembling all over. He kept asking, “Is this for real?” However, he passed away before he received this pension. At Mr. Long’s funeral, a villager loudly proclaimed his memorial speech, which drew us into deep thought…
Jiang Nengjie is a renowned independent filmmaker, documentarian, and director. He was born in Hunan province in 1985 and was member of the first generation left behind by parents looking for work in cities. In 2009 he established his Mianhuasha Film Studio and produced numerous documentary films featuring the countryside in China. In 2010, he made the documentary film The Road, which was nominated for the 7th China Documentary Film Festival. His most well-known film is Children at a Village School (2014), which is about village children left behind by their parents who go to the cities to work as migrant workers. It won Best Documentary Film in the 3rd Phoenix Documentary Awards. He has produced numerous films since then, including The Ninth Grade (2015), Anti-Japanese War Veteran (2015), Jia Yi (2016), The Sichuan Army Veteran Peng Guochen (2017), Yun Jie (2018), and others. His most recent documentary, Miners, the Horsekeeper and Pneumoconiosis (2019), has been very popular online due to the increasing public attention to health issues after the coronavirus outbreak. He is currently working on Rainbow Cruise, which is a documentary film about the LGBT community in China.