Donald Sutherland plays Dr. Norman Bethune, revered in his own country as an early partisan of Canada's state-funded medical system and in China for bringing modern surgical techniques to the battlefield while aiding Mao Tse-tung against the Japanese early in World War II. Quintessentially
Canadian, however, his story is also one of frustration and defeat that doesn't travel well. This respectful biography directed by Phillip Borsos (THE GREY FOX) was completed in 1990, but remained unreleased in the US until 1993.
The film begins with Bethune's death in China in 1939 and tells his story through flashbacks and interviews conducted by a reporter researching the...