6.7/10
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6 user 2 critic

Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990)

Bethune has long been a hero in China. Perhaps for reasons of politics and personality, however, his fame in North America lagged far behind. The film explores the complexity of a character... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Norman Bethune
...
Frances Penny Bethune
...
Mrs. Dowd
...
Chester Rice
...
Mr. Tung
Da Guo ...
Dr. Chian (as Guo Da)
Harrison Liu ...
Dr. Fong
...
Marie-France Coudaire
...
Alan Coleman
Geoffrey Chater ...
Dr. Archibald
Zong-yao Tan ...
General Nieh (as Tan Zong Yao)
Ke-Yaw Zhang ...
Chairman Mao (as Zhang Ke Yaw)
...
Dr. Salvador (as Inaki Ayerra)
Li Hai Lang ...
Shiao
...
Frank Coudaire
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Storyline

Bethune has long been a hero in China. Perhaps for reasons of politics and personality, however, his fame in North America lagged far behind. The film explores the complexity of a character who could be narcissistic, petty, and cruel with those who loved him, yet capable of heroic generosity and creativity for those whom he scarcely knew. It was a Canada-China-France co-production, which by the time of its release had become the most expensive movie ever made in Canada. The production had been dogged by controversy over funding, politics, location, revenue, and a dispute over the script between the author, who had been with Bethune in Spain, and the leading actor who had already played Bethune in other venues. Some scenes are tinged with humor and Bethune's speeches about universal access to humane medicine have an uncanny appeal more than half a century later. With its beautiful backdrop of Chinese landscapes, Montreal snow, and 1930s nostalgia, the film is an evocative memorial to a... Written by Duffin, Jacalyn

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17 September 1993 (USA)  »

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Dr. Bethune  »

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Trivia

Donald Sutherland had previously portrayed Dr. Bethune in a 1977 Canadian TV Movie titled Bethune. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely foolish to pass it as a political propaganda
28 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

It is extremely easy to pass it as a political propaganda at first glance. However, it would extremely foolish to do so. What happened to Mao and his party was exactly like what ancient Romans had said: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

However, what happened to Mao and his party after the revolution cannot be used to mitigate what Chinese people accomplished under his leadership before the revolution. Denying past accomplishment of Mao and his party, as well as Chinese people and those great internationalists who helped China to fight Japanese fascists invaders would be as foolish as, and as racist as denying the existence of in USA simply because blacks in USA enjoy better living standards than blacks in Africa & Latin America.


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