Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without ... See full summary »
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »
The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth... See full summary »
Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry. Addicted to gambling, Fugui loses everything. In the years that ... See full summary »
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
This film concerns eight criminal prisoners of the Chinese 8th Army and one unjustly accused commander, also imprisoned; the prologue to the film leaves no doubt as towards the culpability of the eight and the innocence of the one. The nine accompany the army as it is harried by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Zhang Yimou gets an early credit as cinematographer. It's the earliest Chinese war film I've seen where the characters aren't flagrant personifications of revolutionary values. It has pleasant concessions to humanity whilst still banging the propaganda drum (only to the same extent as The Green Berets). Whilst it is propaganda, I'm in no doubt that there was heroic defence against Japanese aggression at the time.
There is to an extent a disconnect between some particularly exorbitant cinematography (you could freeze many great still photos from the film), and a story that doesn't really flow and feels like it has too many gaps. There is however genuine pathos in the movie and the journey the men go on is compelling. The source text is trying to point out that the exemplary acts of one individual can knock onto the rest, although its seeming conviction that innocence is self-evident and will always out could be seen as an obnoxious repudiation of many innocent dead from this period. Would bear interesting comparison to Aldrich's Dirty Dozen in terms of archetype.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?