31012.jpgIn The Valiant Ones, King Hu brings to us another epic display of nationalism. Set during the Ming dynasy, a cunning general battles against Japanese pirates ronin and drive them out of his homeland. As I stated in last week’s blog, this film was produced alongside The Fate of Lee Khan, the latter as a commercial release for Golden Harvest, a cinematic company to whom King Hu sold the movie rights to, while he retained the rights to The Valiant Ones as his independent film. One element that King Hu reuses is the stereotyical portrayal of Japanese antagonists, depicting them very loosely as he did in Sons of Good Earth(i.e Japanese hats, two-toed socks and sandals, ronin with white face). He also begins to deviate from the wuxia genre; here his main characters are highly skilled yet mortal, whereas previously his heroes possessed near-superhuman abilities. The Chinese title(Picture of Valor) ironically denotes this direction during the climax, where a good number of the heroes are killed, taking many pirates with them.


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