General Bai Chongxi was a war hero in the war against Japan, who taught his children to love their country and their roots. His fifth child Bai Xianyong would grow up to be a well-known writer, while eldest son Bai Xiandao would inherit his father’s looks — and a photo album, later acquired by photograph collector Zou Dehuai, who shares some of the images within.
Photo collector Zou Dehuai takes us through the search for Ma Tinghui, a former teacher and interpreter for the Allies with the Chinese Expeditionary Force during World War II, who also suffered much during the Cultural Revolution. While the images of him were only found after his death, his legacy lives on among his family and students.
If pictures tell a thousand words, these images tell the harrowing tale of wartime units set up by the Japanese in northeast China to conduct experiments, allegedly on humans, in its chemical warfare programme. Yet sending a chill down the spine, they also depict the banality of life that soldiers return to after war. Life goes on but for aggressors and victims alike, the wounded are never the same again.
Photo collector Zou Dehuai tells the story of Nadine Hwang, a half-Chinese woman who was a rare breed in every sense of the term. Her dramatic life took her from Madrid to China and the salons of Paris, to a concentration camp in Germany, and eventually to Belgium. Amid the tragedy of war, she found love, and through it all, lived life with great spirit.