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Sunday, 25 June 2017
Exeter Phoenix


Dir. Jordan Paterson, Canada, 2015. 

In collaboration with Hikmat Devon Exeter Phoenix presents this unique opportunity to view this award winning film documenting the forgotten story of an unlikely group of Chinese peasants who were sent to a war they didn’t understand.

The first World War erupted in 1914 and by 1916 Allied powers had suffered devastating casualties. As a result British, French and Chinese states formed an agreement to send almost 140,000 Chinese laborers to the battlefields of Europe.

Using unseen archive footage, interviews, and visually rich re-enactments the film follows Zhang Yan as he searches to restore the collective memory of those in China and around the world who have largely forgotten about the 140,000 men who made this journey 100 years ago.

‘History is nothing but a pack of tricks we play on the dead.’ – Voltaire

This special screening will be followed by a Q&A with Canadian director Jordan Paterson hosted by leading international historian on the Chinese Labour Corps and author of The Chinese Labour Corps (1916–1920), Gregory James.