Wang Jingwei, one of the leaders of Kuomintang (KMT), was responsible for drafting Sun Yat-sen's will. Active in Chinese politics throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he presided over the establishment of the Puppet Nationalist Government during the Second Sino-Japanese War, ultimately helping maintain the operation of the occupied zone. During his four years of leadership in Nanjing, there were multiple assassination attempts on Wang Jingwei.
The film follows the undertaking of one artist to rewrite the Hollywoodesque film – The Assassination of Wang Jingwei (1988) – starting with a trip to Nanjing to a visit a friend named Mr. Liu. It tells the ‘story’ of the appearance and then disappearance of such a controversial figure in history, delving into the discussions, empathy and gossip regarding Wang Jingwai.
A discussion of Wang is, in fact, a larger discussion of the great force majeure; a modern day reflection of a dilemma that anyone could potentially be faced with. In terms of social change in China, people are routinely bound to choices somewhere between progressive and conservative, East and West. The whole country teeters, moves forward, pauses, and even goes backwards at times when things don’t go according to plan.
The film is more than a historical charcoal sketch. It is a tour of Nanjing, and a glimpse at the remnants of the Republic of China.