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A Jewish Girl in Shanghai

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A Jewish Girl in Shanghai (2010)

80 min - Drama, History, Animation - 1 January 2010
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Based upon the popular graphic novel by Wu Lin, this is the first Chinese animated film to portray the Holocaust. The film centers around the warm friendship between Rina, a wide-eyed European Jewish schoolgirl and A-Gen, a Chinese pancake seller, who teach each other about their distant worlds as Shanghai struggles beneath its own cruelly portrayed Japanese occupation.

Director: 
Writers:  Wu Lin

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Storyline

Based upon the popular graphic novel by Wu Lin, this is the first Chinese animated film to portray the Holocaust. The film centers around the warm friendship between Rina, a wide-eyed European Jewish schoolgirl and A-Gen, a Chinese pancake seller, who teach each other about their distant worlds as Shanghai struggles beneath its own cruelly portrayed Japanese occupation.


Collections: Zhang Zhenhui

Genres: Drama, History, Animation

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  Mandarin Chinese
Release Date:  1 January 2010

Box Office

Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 20 min

Based upon the popular graphic novel by Wu Lin, this is the first Chinese animated film to portray the Holocaust.

The film centers around the warm friendship between Rina, a wide-eyed European Jewish schoolgirl and A-Gen, a Chinese pancake seller, who teach each other about their distant worlds as Shanghai struggles beneath its own cruelly portrayed Japanese occupation.

A Jewish Girl in Shanghai (Chinese: 犹太女孩在上海) is a 2010 Chinese animated family film written by Wu Lin and based on his graphic novel of the same name. It is directed by Wang Genfa and Zhang Zhenhui, and voiced by Cui Jie, Zhao Jing and Ma Shaohua.

Set mainly in and around the Shanghai Ghetto in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during the Second World War, the film tells the story of three children. Rina and her younger brother Mishalli are Jewish refugees who escaped Europe but are without their parents. A-Gen is a Chinese orphan boy who meets Rina and helps her and her brother to survive. The children form strong friendships and have adventures as they try and fend off the Japanese army occupying the city, and their allies, the Nazis. In the background, the Second Sino-Japanese War takes place, while the children must face the uncertainty that concerns the fate of Rina and Mishalli’s parents in Europe.

Well received in China and internationally, A Jewish Girl in Shanghai has been heralded as the first animated Chinese film to address the Holocaust, and has been described as “China’s first homegrown Jewish film”. The film has been nominated for awards in China and Israel, and has been considered an important step towards improving China’s relations with Israel and intercultural relations between the Chinese and Jewish peoples.

A Jewish Girl in Shanghai Movie Trailer

Plot

Modern day Shanghai, an old lady with blue eyes arrived in the city, while holding an old locket that belongs to her.

Rina and Mishalli, European Jews luckily escaped before they were caught by Nazis on their homeland, sought refuge within Shanghai Ghetto. A-Gen, a Chinese orphan sells bread for a living. Rina gave her locket in exchange of food. A-Gen tries to find Rina to return her locket.

She was welcomed upon by A-Gen to his home, as he was raised by his father’s friend, who was once alongside his father, fought the Japanese, in which A-Gen’s father died.

Together, they make their lives upon Shanghai normal, until a collaborator blows their locations to the local Japanese Army. A-Gen’s guardian held and allowed himself to be caught by the soldiers.

1945, the Japanese surrendered. A-Gen sees his friend Rina one last time as she was taken to the ship back to Europe.

Rina is the old woman from the beginning, trying to search for A-Gen, who came as an old man.

Historical background

During the Second World War, approximately 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing German-occupied Europe were given an area of approximately one square mile in the Hongkou District of Shanghai by the Japanese Empire, designated the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees, one of the poorest and most overcrowded areas of the city. Shanghai had previously had a small population of Baghdadi Jews and Russian Jews, the latter mostly having fled the Russian Empire as a result of anti-Jewish pogroms.

The new Ashkenazi Jews that immigrated to Shanghai began arriving from 1933, firstly German Jews following the Nazi Party’s rise to power. Despite the cultural differences they faced, and restrictions imposed by the Japanese under Nazi pressure, the Jews of Shanghai survived the war unharmed, as the Japanese refused to hand them over to the Germans.

Following the end of the Second World War, many Jews who had sought refuge in Shanghai returned to Europe or decided to settle in countries with much larger Jewish populations, such as the United States and Palestine. Most of the Jews that chose to stay in Shanghai left shortly afterwards as a result of the resumption of the Chinese Civil War, and by the late 1950s very few Jews remained in Shanghai. As a result of Chinese economic growth in recent years, however, the city’s Jewish population has grown to around 1,500 in 2010. This compares to a Jewish population of fewer than 100 around 20 years before. [wikipedia]