In the 1930s, wartime Shanghai is a cosmopolitan metropolis where conmen and dance-hall girls mingle with refugees streaming in from the occupied areas.
One of those refugees is Shi Zhaochang. Having read too many gongfu novels, he is convinced that only an elite martial artist with magical powers can save China. He flees to Shanghai on a quixotic search for a gongfu master who can teach him the secret techniques that will make himself that warrior. The fate of China itself hangs in the balance, and everyone has a scheme to save the nation, or at least get rich trying.
The Pidgin Warrior is a rollicking satire of nationalism and modernity that is remarkably relevant today.