After the July 7 incident In 1937, Japan accelerated its invasion of China. Many regions in the country turned out be in a mess.
The small town Anyuan in Jiangxi Province is peaceful because it’s not affected by the war.
People will go to theater to listen Pei Yanzhi sing in the evening,
The man sings others stories on the stage. He has his own life after walking off the stage.
But “How can the hair be saved if the skin does not exist”? There are Japanese armys in the surrounding regions, the small town is no longer safe.
The Japanese artillery open the door of the small town in a short time.
After the soilders knew that here is an actor, Pei Yanzhi, they asked him to sing for them alone to comforted all Japanese.
They asked Pei Yangzhi to show up, or they would burn down the whole town, everyone here would die.
So Pei Yanzhi accept the special job, he sat in front of the dressing table and began to draw eyebrows.
The parters around him look very different, some sigh, some want to speak something, and some is angry.
Pei Yanzhi advise them to focus on their jobs. “Dong, dong, dong!” A gong and drum ring, open the curtain, an drama is going to begin.
Japanese soilder under the stage are launghing and talking, they drink hot tea, eat fruits, and prepare to appreciate the Chinese opera.
Pei prepared traditional opera Peach Blossom Fan for these Japanese, it’s also his specialty.
These Japanese cheered when Pei began to sing, although they didn’t know what he was singing. But they could judge the man is a good actor after heared his tune.
As the lyrics in Chi Ling say, “Open and close and Fans, play gongs and drums and be quiet, the emotion in the opera, people outside the opera, who to tell the story?”
When Pei Yanzhi sang, “There are wolves, tigers and leopards in the audience, and evil spirits are in the way.” The drums on the stage suddenly become dense, and there is a tendency of “rains are coming and wind is filling”.
The Japanese were frightened and only listen to Pei shouted, “fire!” There was a huge fire around the theater in a short time.
All Japanese wanted to escape but got that all doors and windows had been closed off.
Pei had a determination to die since he accept the acting job, he planed to die with these evil Japanese.
Pei has peace of mind without fear when looking at the burning fire.
According to the stage rules, you can’t stop singing once you start, so he continue to sing, “watching the building, watching he receive guests, watching the building collapse. On this pile of moss and green tiles, I had a good sleep and felt the rise and fall of fifty years…”
The building collapsed, but the play didn’t end. Despite his lowly position, he never forgot his country. (There has been a lot of debates on the Internet about whether this man exists in history, but his patriotism is worth learning from.)