Empire of the Sun (1987)

Empire of the Sun (1987). Spiritual Movie Review - Jacklyn A. Lo

Empire of the Sun (1987)” is an amazing historical movie with spiritual elements.

The main protagonist, Jamie Graham, is a high-society British boy.


A destiny drops him into the harsh environment of Shanghai during the WW2. As a result, he has to ensure his survival.

The director of the film, Steven Spielberg, introduced a well-made mixture of four cultures – Japanese, Chinese, British and American. Thus, we can observe patterns of behaviour and nuances characteristic of each nationality.


Meanwhile, the viewers enjoy the magnificence of the Shanghai metropolis and experience the tragedy of civilians faced with the brutality of wartime.

However, the most remarkable thing in this movie is Jamie (outstanding play of young Christian Bale).


Possessing rich spiritual awareness and wisdom, he tells his mother that God played tennis in his dream.
Therefore, he doesn’t need a belief in God, he simply knows that he exists.

Also, Jamie assumes that if people can see God in their dreams, perhaps God also sees people in His dreams.


Above all, Jamie not only has his own opinion, but he also has his vision. While adults, using analytics and statistics, calculate the potential outcome of the war on the number of people and weapons ( logic), Jamie from his higher level of consciousness notes that someone who has Courage will win the war and that Courage is a national value of the Japanese (visioner).


Further, separated from his parents, Jamie tries to survive in the new situation.
Hunger is a driving force for the boy, and he looks for opportunities.

Gut’ feelings with intuition help Jamie to escape from a bigger evil – a Chinese street boy – and to join a smaller one – an American pragmatist Basie.

cold calculation

Basie share rice with Jamie not because of the compassion, but a cold calculation – to sell the boy ( a feature of Darks). But his plan failed.

Meanwhile, death is all around, and Basie teaches Jim ( the nickname of Jamie) to get opportunities even from the dead, whether it be an extra potato or pair of golf shoes.

energy potential

However, the art of surviving is an intensive life lesson to Jamie and therefore at the spiritual level the boy gets an upgrade of his energy potential.

The energy potential.is so high, that Jamie even manages to save several lives!


After that, we see the atomic bomb’s explosion in front of Jamie’s eyes.
The boy – artist compares the flash of it with the snapshot done by God.

However, the end of the movie is happy – Jamie is reunited with his parents.

Summing up, the “Empire of the Sun (1987)” based on a true story is a great film to be watched by the whole family.

See my rating on IMDb


This movie review was written by Jacklyn A. Lo

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