Bodyguards and Assassins 2
The movie has many angles to look at, and lessons to be told. The Qing Dynasty was decadent and had lost the mandate to rule. But the Dowager was bent on keeping the Dynasty going for as long as possible, and with all means and resources available. Suppressing the opposition at all cost was her only way. The Dynasty had run out of ideas on how to rule the country. The country was in disarray and controlled by foreigners. The foreigners were calling the shot. It was a pathetic scenario, even in modern society, should the foreigners ended calling the shot in a country. The dangerous part about this ‘foreigner’ thing in modern history is that they could pass themselves off as citizens by simply acquiring a citizenship. And overnight people believe that they are one of them, no longer foreigners. Instant trees and instant citizenship have their merits and dangers. The Qing Dynasty was oppressive and deadly. They just killed off any opposition. Under such a political culture, when the rulers were ruthless and ready to demolish anyone trying to stand up to voice their opposition, the patriots could not hope for a peaceful change of the power elite. They were compelled to meet force with force, a rebellion. But for such an endeavour to succeed, there would be many sacrifices of lives. For every martyr that was taken down, more must stand up to replace the fallen. It was a bloody time. The unassuming doctor in Sun Yat Sen stood up. And so were many pen pushers, academics and students, all wanting a new China for the people. Many were mowed down by the soldiers who wielded the sword and the gun. The pen pushers provided the leadership and ideas, the brain. And the soldiers provided the muscles and the brawns to take on the ruthless Qing regime headed by an ageing Dowager. The rest was history. An empire of several hundred years, with all the elite in power, with guns and money, was overthrown by the will of a desperate people. History repeated itself. No empire can survive forever, no matter how powerful, how long it stayed in power, and how ruthless is the suppression of the people’s will. There will always be a new dawn and a new era.