This film is part of Free

Attack on a Mission Station

Dramatised account of Chinese rebels' violent confrontation with Christian missionaries, made in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion.

War 1900 1 mins Silent


These fictionalised scenes of Chinese 'Boxer' rebels attacking a Christian mission station were filmed by Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon in and around their home town of Blackburn. The Boxers were a Chinese secret society dedicated to expelling foreigners, particularly Christian missionaries, from China. Some of the actors here make less than convincing rebels, even dead ones!

This film was also known as Boxer Attack on a Missionary Outpost. Competing filmmaker James Williamson went to considerable lengths to ensure that his version, Attack on a China Mission, would be more dramatic, with authentic gunshots and explosions. Reconstructions of topical events like this were fairly common in early film, and Mitchell & Kenyon made several. They are sometimes described as 'fake' actuality films, although audiences were probably under no illusions that what they were seeing was genuine footage of the events depicted.