Red Cliff I and II

The Battle of Red Cliffs, which took place in the winter of 208/9 A.D., is as important to Chinese history as the Civil War is to American history.

John Woo ("Windtalkers" and "Face/Off") launched this massive under- taking in an attempt to commit to celluloid the momentous events just prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms that culminated in a battle which destroyed 2,000 ships and forever changed Chinese history. These two movies, "Chi bi" and "Chi bi xia" are the equivalent of America's "Gone With the Wind."

These movies are terrific because they show the huge impact made by both disease (typhoid) and weather (wind direction when trying to burn out your enemies) in the final outcome of a war. We watch the many cunning strategies and admire the military techniques that have been well documented in this famous conflict. It incorporates a love story, mysticism and LOTS of bloody battles.

Because it is too involved to condense into a single two-hour movie, please be aware that you must obtain parts 1 AND 2, to see the whole saga. Both were available through the local library here.

The movies are in Chinese with English subtitles. The many extra features have no English captions...Aarghhh!