Guo fu Sun Zhong Shan yu kai guo ying xiong (The Story of Dr. Sun Yat-sen) (1986)




Director:     Shan-hsi Ting.

Starring:      Wei-Sheng Lin(Dr. Sun Yat-Sen), Alex Man, Deannie Yip, Pauline Wong.

Sun Yat-sen



Spoiler Warning:


Part I. 

The narrator comments:  "After reading China's modern history, I only want to cry."

Men are crowded together and one of the men yells out for water.  The colonialists tell the Chinese men to take their clothes off quickly and throw them into the sea.  Then the men are doused with hot water. 

Men and women are eating in a restaurant.  The talk is of politics:  "Since the Opium War, Chinese people began to be enslaved by foreigners  --  not only the emperor but also the foreigners began to bully the common Chinese people.  The government of Qing Dynasty is too corrupted and weak that it signed unfair treaties one after another.  Yanfu said that it is not that China doesn't have soldiers nor generals but they are all flunkies.  Zhang Zhidong, the governor of Hunan and Guangdong, was very angry at a heterodox speech as an official of the Qing government and a subordinator of Lihongzhang."

One man says they should send a bomb to the Qing government.  [Founded by the Manchus, the Qing dynasty (16441911) was the last imperial dynasty in China.] Others says that ancient China should be reformed by force.  Sun Yat-sen says he will go to Honolulu, USA to find a better way to deal with China's problems. 

On November 24, 1894 Sun Yat-sen establishes the China Recovery Association in Honolulu. 

Two young men take an oath:  "Repel the Tartars, recover China and found a united government.  If we violate our oath, God will punish us."  The men are Zheng Jingand Hong Liang, from Shangshan County, Guangdong Province."  An older man says:  "Since the Sino-Japanese War in 1894, China was defeated time and time again."  [First Sino-Japanese War (18941895).]  He adds that a few days ago, Yaoru wrote him from Shanghai that the Japanese navy has been approaching Tianjin and Beijin and both places are in danger.  He thinks this is a good time for their uprising.  So he is leaving tomorrow for Hongkong through Tokyo, Japan to discuss the schedule of the revolution. 

A conspirator Brother Yi Jian tells Haodong that they have decided to launch the revolution at the time of the Double Ninth Festival.    [The festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month and is a traditional holiday of the Chinese calendar; also known as the Chrysanthemum Festival.]  The revolutionaries from Hong Kong will go to Guangzhou by ship on the night of September 8.  There they will meet with Jiongming and make preparations.  Haodong shows the flag with a blue sky and a white sun that he designed for the revolution.   

Revolutionaries look prepared to launch an assault. A man tries to warn off an on-coming ship, yelling:  "Don't land!  Go back!"  Soldiers in boats attack the ship and take it over.  Now it appears the the revolutionary leaders are about to be executed. 

October 26, 1895, the 21st year of Emperor Guangxu, the Guangzhou Uprising failed.  Lu Haodong was executed.  [The Hong Kong based Revive China Society planned the First Guangzhou Uprising.  On October 26, 1895, Yeung Ku-wan and Sun Yat-sen led Zheng Shiliang and Lu Haodong to Guangzhou.  The revolutionary plans were leaked to the government and the uprising was a failure.  Sun Yat-sen went into exile.]

In a Japanese village.  Two conspirators, one named Yeah,, the other called Mr. Sun, plot out another uprising for China.  They discuss where the revolution should take place.  The guys have dinner and then go over to Mr. Zheng's place.  From there they go to a place where they discuss current events.  The mother queen has ordered the imprisonment of Emperor Guangxu.  Tan Sitong and his comrade, the Six Gentlemen, were killed.  Mr. Sun says he is planning another uprising in China.  They also discuss the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901).  The Boxing League is approaching Tianjin and Beijing. So now is the right time and he is going to send Zheng Shiliang to Huizhou to launch the revolution.  Shi Junliang will be sent to Guanghou to assist.  He and Guki will go to Hong Kong to get support for launching the revolution in Guangdong.  

October 8, 1900.  Sun Yat-sen orderded the launch of the Huizhou Uprising.  Zheng Shiliang lead the revolutionary army of some 200,000 men.  A big battle takes place with the government army.  The government soldiers have rifles and cannon.  Thousands of bodies litter the battleground. 

October 1900.  The Huizhou Uprising failed. 

Japan.  Sun says that the 400 million Chinese people are the slaves of tyranny, as well as the slaves of foreign invaders.  He says they want to establish a republic in China, and this calls for a national revolution.  To accomplish this they will unite the Huaxing Association in Hubei, Rizhi Association in Hunan, Guangfu Association in Tainjin and other revolutionary organizations to form a united league  --  a united revolutionary party.   Sun suggests they call it the United League of China. 

On July 30,1905 the United League of China was established in Tokyo, Japan. 

South-control Pass, Guangxi, South Central China, bordering Vietnam.  A battle is taking place and Sun is in the thick of it.  An aide tells him to go to the back for his own safety.  He goes back to help patch up the wounded. 

He hasn't been in China for 12 years.  He says life is so short and he has so many things to do.

December 2, 1907.  The uprising at South-control Pass failed.  The revolutionaries are becoming discourages and wonder when will an uprising by Sun actually succeed?  Sun says that they have been constantly uprising for the 13 years since the failure of the Guangzhou Uprising. There was the Huizhou battle, the Huanghua Gang Uprising, the Chaozhou and Huizhou revolution, the battles of Qingzhou, Lianzhou, South-control Pass, Hekou and AnQing.  They lost all these encounters, but they have shaken the base of the Qing Dynasty.  "Failure is the mother of success."  After the death of the queen and Emperor Guangxu, the Qing government is in chaos.  Mass revolution and military rebellions are occurring all over the country.  They must launch another uprising and for that 100 thousand dollars at least are needed to start another Guangzhou Uprising.  Therefore, he has to ask for more donations from the people. 

Another uprising takes place.  On April 27th, 1911the 3rd year of Emperor Xuantong, the second Guangzhou uprising, known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt, also failed. 

Sun goes to the United State to raise more money.  While there, he reads in the newspaper that the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911 has succeeded.  Sun is absolutely thrilled for a victory after 11 defeats.  Sun say they will return to China and wage revolution everywhere. 

There are battles in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Nanjing.  Sun arrives back on December 21, 1911.  

The talk is that Sun will become the first president of the Republic of China.  But Yuan Shikai has 100,000 troops and he may want to be the first president. 

Sun says he will take office on New Year's Day, 1912.    On December 19, 1911, Sun is elected to be the temporary president.  He is worried that without an influx of $5 million dollars, he won't be president for long.  He asks his Japanese friend Mr. Guki to get the needed money. 

January 1st, the 1st year of the Republic of China is established.  Sun says it's his duty to overthrow the Qing tyrannical government.  When that is accomplished and the government is stabilized, he promises to step down from the presidency.

The hair braids of the men are cut off. 

Forbidden City, Beijing.  Yuan Shikai reports to Her Majesty that 48 generals of the Beiyang Army have written a joint statement in support of a constitutional monarchy, but not for a republic.   He also suggests that, since the Southern revolutionary party established an illegal government publicly, they must attack it immediately.  Her Majesty agrees.

Sun and his government worry over the high military expenditures that will come with war.  The state treasury is empty.  And they worry because the USA and England support Yuan Shikai.  Further more, Japan and Russia have sent their armies to the three provinces in the Northeast and Mongolia with the intention of dividing China.  France is going to attack the border of Yunnan province, and the Hubei government has been conspiring with Yuan Shikai.  Furthermore, the seven armies of the Beiyang Army are pressing down upon Nanjing. 

Sun speaks up to say that Shikai has evil intentions and the republic cannot be handed over to such a conservative official.  Shikai has to obey the principles of the republic. 

At Shikai house, his supporters say that he has made the first step toward the Qing emperor's abdication.  The queen cried for Shikai to protect her and her son.  Suddenly the lights go out. A servant whispers to Shikai that a female revenge team entered Gate No. 7, and they threw a bomb to knock out the electricity generator. 

On February 12, 1912, Emperor Xuantong abdicated.  The next day President Sun also left office.  On February 13, 1912 Sun Yat-sen resigned as the temporary president to f the Republic of China. 


Part II. 

Shikai has called in Sun to north China. The news reporters remind him that the Kuomintang swept to victory in the parliamentary elections, and some generals in the north have threarened to make some moves against the parliamentary system.  

A Sun supporter known as Dunchu is shot while waiting at the train station.  He tells his friend Keqiang that he feels cold. 

On March 13, 1913, the second year of the Republic of China, Song Jiaoren was assassinated in Shanghai station.

On August 9, 1913, Sun's second revolution fails and he is exiled to Japan again.  In Japan Miss Qingling comes to see him.  She will be his secretary.  She types from his dictation.  He talks about a second revolution in China. 

Sun attends a meeting where he says that Keqiang insists that all their problems be solved legally.  And Zhantang is suspicious of another revolution and is hesitating.  So now it is time for a third revolution. 

On July 8, 1914, the 3rd year of the Republic of China, the Revolutionary Party of China was established in Tokyo, Japan. 

President Yuan has appointed Xiong Xiling as the prime minister.  And a first class cabinet was established.  The Congress, which was surround by soldiers, elected Yuan Shikai to be president in Beijing. 

Keqiang is going to America for awhile to be out of Sun's hair. 

On November 25, the 4th year of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen got married to Song Qingling in Tokyo, Japan.

May 18, the 5th year of the Republic of China, Chen Qimei is assassinated in No. 14, Saibosa Road, Shanghai. 

A man associated with Sun, Zhonghai, goes out horse-back riding, and suddenly becomes ill.  He falls from his horse.  His son and some soldiers ride up to help him.  Sun comes to see the man in his sick bed.  Zhonghai asks Sun if the murderer who killed Qimei has been arrested?  Mr. Sun looks down, but says nothing. 

October 31, 1916, the 5th year of the Republic of China, Huangxing died of his illness in Shanghai. 

July 6, 1917.  To protect the Constitution, Sun went south with a navy.  Both Huang Keqiang and Chen Qimei passed away.  Sun says otherwise both men would have been here with him on the ship.  The man on his left tells him that Sun did well in coming to the south to protect the Constitution.  He adds that Haimei said in his letter that she succeeded in the uprisings in Guangdong and Guangxi.  Another man steps forward and says he will raise an army to protect Sun.  [Wikipedia says:  "China had become divided between different military leaders without a proper central government. Sun saw the danger of this and returned to China in 1917 to advocate Chinese reunification.  A southern separatist government in the South was established to rival the Beiyang government in the north.]

The army is built up and the men are put through vigorous training.  An officer says that since the May 4th Movement, new ideas are developing rapidly all over the country.  Furthermore, the success of the Russian Revolution has inspired Mr. Sun.  Sun is moving south again and will establish the Guangzhou Revolutionary Government.  The officer tells Jingcun that he should be cautious if the Guangdong army combines with the Guangxi army.   Mr. Sun has high hopes for the Guangdong army. 

General Zhu Zhixin is coming.  Some of the soldiers say that when Zhu arrives, the rebellion army will surrender without fighting.  Their men will lay down their arms. 

The general goes out on top of a mountain ridge and announces the he, Zhu Zhixin, is here.  He is shot in the chest.  He keeps walking until he is shot once again.  He falls to the ground.

September 21, the 9th year of the Republic of China, Zhu Zhixin dies in Humen. 

At a public meeting, a man stands up to say to Sun:  "Since the 7th year of the Republic of China, you survived the rebels of the 21st Army.  Today we have been back in Guangzhou for two years.  You have been working hard for the establishment of the Guangdong army and today the situation is finally settled."  They toast to their victory.  Then they toast to Mr. Sun.  Sun says that the Guangdong army recovered Guangzhou and helped to re-establish the Revolutionary government in the south.  General Chen and all the generals performed outstanding, meritorious deeds.  The goal of attacking the north is to unite China. 

December 23, 1921.  Sun meets Marlin, representative of the Soviet Union.  Sun gets a telegram from Mr. Chen Zhongming.  The general says that Guangdong shouldn't get all the money for attacking the north.  [Wikipedia says that:  With the Soviets' help, Sun was able to develop the military power needed for the Northern Expedition against the military at the north.]

The former General Chen tells his men that he could not support the attack on the north, so Mr. Sun has removed him from his position.

June 16, the 11th year of the Republic of China.  Chen Zhongming betrayed  Sun and bombarded the palace of the president.  Sun's forces fight Chen's forces, but Sun's soldiers start to run from the battlefield.  Sun tries to turn the soldiers around, but he can't. 

Sun says he's getting very old now.  With great bitterness, he tells his wife that this has been the most miserable failure in his 30 year revolutionary experience.  He feels hurt and terribly insulted.  Sun says he must establish another army. 

The double tenth day, January of the 13th year of the Republic of China,.  Sun holds a grand meeting of the party.  He says that this date and the day of the Wuchang Revolution are the memorable days in the history of Republic of China.  He says they need a new party that will be more united and, therefore, be more successful.

October 15, 1924.  Jiang Jieshi leads the soldiers and officers of Huangpu Military Academy to suppress the rebellion of the Commercial League. 

General Feng Yuxiang sends Sun a telegram asking him to go to Beijing.  Sun decides to go north.

November 13, 1924.  Sun was invited to go to Beijing to manage state affairs.  He asks the northerners what are they so afraid of the power of the foreigners?  With that attitude, why did they even invite him to come to Beijing? 

Sun is introduced to General Lin of the Beijing Guard Army.  Lin asks Sun to get off at the next railway because the crowds gathered to greet him at the Beijing station are now seriously overwhelming the capital station.  Sun says no because he came precisely for the large crowds.   "They are the masters of the Republic of China." 

The crowds are massive indeed. 

Sun died of liver cancer on 12 March 1925 at the age of 58 at the Rockefeller financed Peking Union Medical College.


Good movie, but a bit confusing.  I had to do a lot of research in Wikipedia to figure out what was going on in China in the film.  The movie covers just how hard it was for Dr. Sun to help bring about a republic in China.  He has so many defeats, but never gave up.  He finally started winning and a republic was established (lasted 1912-1949).  All the revolutions and battles make it a bit hard to figure what's going on.  But the film is still worth viewing.  The film quality is not very good, but I pushed through it. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 



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