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Beheading a Chinese Boxer

A grisly early fictional reconstruction inspired by atrocity stories from China's Boxer Rebellion.

War 1900 1 mins Silent


News of China's Boxer Rebellion - the uprising of a secret society determined to rid China of foreign influences - caused quite a stir in Britain in 1900. Filmmakers responded to public outcry by offering fictional 'recreations' of events. This grisly example, attributed to Mitchell and Kenyon, uses a neat bit of editing to evoke the beheading of a Boxer rebel by Chinese authorities.

The prolific Blackburn-based partnership Mitchell and Kenyon produced at least one other fictional film on the subject of the Boxer Rebellion. But some contemporary catalogues suggest that this film (or at least something like it) was produced not by M&K but by Pathé or Walter Gibbons, and distributed by Warwick Trading Company. We may never know.