The Sand Pebbles

Watched this again last night and really enjoyed McQueen, Bergen, Attenborough, and Crenna. Picked up more Vietnam references this time, and wonder how audiences in 1966 viewed it. Netflix reviews are generally more interesting for what they say about the writer than about the film, and I am pondering one this morning:

Its a move that needs to be explained to anyone under 17 who is a product of an education system that doesnt teach what the rape of Nanking meant.

The movie clearly takes place a decade before the Japanese invasion, and I wondered about this viewer’s picture of China and what the American gunboat was doing there. The fictional San Pablo being inherited from Spain seems pretty loud. Realized the film portrays Chinese factions as following different “warlords” with Bolshevik inspiration thrown in, there is no real explanation of the Northern Expedition, and I know nothing about Chiang Kai-shek’s campaign. Wonder how many Americans today see China and Taiwan as simply places out there with lots of Chinese making things out of plastic to sell cheaply to American consumers.

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