The Last Tycoon (2012)
The Last Tycoon is a film about Shanghai, China during the Republican period. The film focuses on the life of Cheng Daqi, loosely based on the mob boss Du Yusheng. It follows Cheng’s life story from his early days as a fruit vendor to his rise as well-known gangster. The storyline takes viewers from China’s early republican days to the Japanese invasion. The Hong Kong made film was directed by Wong Jing and stars Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo Hung, Francis Ng, and Huang Xiaoming.
This film may be used in the classroom by:
· Discussing Republican China before and after the Japanese invasion
· Comparing the similarities of life in the cities (e.g. mobs) in China versus U.S.
I would suggest showing this film to give students a wider view of what China was like during the Republican period. I think students will find the life of Cheng Daqi to be interesting. A similarly related Hong Kong drama, Lord of Shanghai was produced in 2015 that follows the story of three mobsters who “controlled” Shanghai before and after the Japanese occupation.
Modern World History, 9-12