In China, the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) is a familiar historical era that has long been examined, exploited and mythologized in popular film and television. This chapter focuses on the avant-garde film Devils on the Doorstep (released in 2000), the circumstances of its production and its reception in both China and Japan. Directed by the mainstream actor Jiang Wen, Devils on the Doorstep is a black comedy that subverts certain tropes of Chinese wartime drama with its intimate scale and absurdist tendencies. The film stands in contrast to the commercialized effect of many glossy blockbusters while offering an unflinching view of the terror, violence and senselessness of a war that continues to haunt contemporary geopolitics.