Devils on the Doorstep (simplified Chinese: 鬼子来了; traditional Chinese: 鬼子來了; Japanese: 鬼が来た!; literally "the devils are here") is a 2000 Chinese black comedy film produced and directed by Jiang Wen, starring Jiang himself, Kagawa Teruyuki, Yuan Ding and Jiang Hongbo. Shot in black and white to mimic old-time war movies, the film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival on 12 May and clinched the Grand Prix but was subsequently banned in its home country.
Inspired by the novel Survival by You Fengwei, Devils on the Doorstep is set in the last years of the Second Sino-Japanese War during World War II and tells the story of a Chinese villager who is forced by a mysterious figure to take custody of two prisoners from the Japanese Army (Teruyuki and Yuan). Fearing both the mystery man and the Japanese, the village falls into a dilemma over what to do with the two prisoners.
Contrary to its title, Devils on the Doorstep is not at its core an anti-Japanese war film. In Jiang's own words, the film shows how Chinese literature and film has perpetuated an attitude of blaming the aggressor and casting the Chinese population as passive victims of aggression. Jiang hopes that the film illuminates this common human psychological trait of blaming others for disaster that goes beyond Chineseness.
Famous quotes containing the word devils:
“Right as the humour of melancholy
Causeth full many a man in sleep to cry
For fear of blacke bears, or bulles black,
Or elles blacke devils will them take.”
—Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?1400)