You never are too old to learn new information and never too old to learn that information from a 5-year-old. This week I gave my class a simple assignment. I wanted them to ask someone in their family to help them research an important historical moment in their cultural background. My class is a true melting pot of students that come from different cultural backgrounds and I found this a great opportunity, for all my students as well as myself, to learn something further about history as well as each other.
There was one story that had me completely fascinated and that could be contributed to the grandmother of one of my students. She weaved a magnificent tale of triumph through sorrow and loyalty. A group of women that were bound through sorrow of losing their husbands in the battle to save the Song Dynasty from invaders. Mu Guiying becomes the dedicated leader of the women warriors as they went into battle to continue the fight that their husbands proudly gave their lives. She also stressed that there are many story variations of Mu Guiying and the Yang Clan. Most of them fictional but even in fiction there is a little truth to the story.
There are a few dramas and movies based on the story of Mu Guiying and Yang Zongbao. I chose, Legendary Amazons, 2011 Chinese movie starring Cecilia Cheung (My Guiying) & Richie Yen (Yang Zongbao). Directed by Frankie Chan and produced by Jackie Chan & Wang Tianyun.
If you are a stickler for historical accuracy, strong story lines, and spectacular acting, this is NOT the movie for you and it should not have been a movie for me. I would have pressed stopped but the actions scenes were worth staying.
This movie brought me back to the days of when my father and I use to watch old school Kung Fu movies (I am not that old, sssssh) back in the late 80’s. It was good to see Cheng Pei Pei, an actress that was in many of the Shaw Brother’s productions. It seemed to follow the customary flow, heavy on the action and weak on the story set up. In my opinion, the story was only a quick introduction to the fight scenes and they were great. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these women take control and kick some ass.
As in most Kung Fu movies, you get scenes of mystically flying in the air, deaf defying submerged under the earth & sudden appearances of weapons. This movie has it and that’s it.