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Traces Of A Dragon Review

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The accounts of opium smuggling, executions and heartbreak, set against the Sino-Japanese War and Communist upheaval, predominantly told through the voice of Jackie Chan’s father.

★★★★

In 1999, Jackie Chan learned from his father the truth he had long suspected about his family history.

These extraordinary revelations form the basis of this captivating documentary, which combines archive footage with surviving Chan interviews. Largely resisting the urge to over-dramatise or saturate proceedings with cinematic trimmings, the tragic tale is left to weave its own spell.

The accounts of opium smuggling, executions and heartbreak, set against the Sino-Japanese War and Communist upheaval, are predominantly told through the voice of Chan's father.

As extraordinary as these stories are, further poignancy is added with a gentle reminder that such fates were suffered by millions during this turbulent period. Not aimed at Jackie Chan fans after a fix of biographical fluff, this is a serious and moving historical document.