Darkness' bright side
Updated: 2012-12-11 09:53
By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Author Liu Zhenyun reveals one of the darkest historic events in his novella Back to 1942, the film adaptation of which is in theaters. Jiang Dong / China Daily
Writer Liu Zhenyun had an incredible discussion with his grandmother in 1990, when he returned to his hometown, Henan province's Yanjin. "Do you remember 1942?" he asked. "What happened in 1942?" his grandmother asked. "People starved to death," Liu said.
"People starved many years. Which famine are you talking about?" she responded.
Liu was doing research for a book chronicling a century of disasters in China, when he stumbled upon a rarely discussed catastrophe.
A famine killed about 3 million people in Henan in 1942.
He was shocked to discover many survivors, like his grandmother, have forgotten about the horrific event.
His conversation with his grandmother features in his 1993 novella Back to 1942 but isn't in the namesake blockbuster film now in theaters.
Celebrated director Feng Xiaogang adapted the book into the 147-minute film based on a script written by Liu.
The film grossed 200 million yuan ($32 million) within a week of its Nov 29 premiere.