Mark Salzman always was interested in Kung-Fu and the Chinese culture, claims to have seen every Kung-Fu movie. 1982, with a degree in Chinese literature, he visits a province university in... See full summary »

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(autobiography), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hangcheng Dong ...
Teacher Cai
Xihong Jiang ...
Teacher Zhang
Jeanette Lin Tsui ...
Teacher Hei
Qingfu Pan ...
Himself
Mark Salzman ...
Teacher Mark
Xudong Sun ...
Sinbad
Funglin To ...
Old Sheep
...
Ming
Yang Xiru ...
Dr. Wang
Xiao Ying ...
April
Hu Yun ...
Fatty Du
Lu Zhiquan ...
Teacher Li
Genyuan Zhuang ...
Teacher Xu
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Storyline

Mark Salzman always was interested in Kung-Fu and the Chinese culture, claims to have seen every Kung-Fu movie. 1982, with a degree in Chinese literature, he visits a province university in China for two years to teach Chinese teachers the English language. He learns the refinements of correct behavior among Chinese people, makes friends with his pupils, falls in love with the young doctor Ming, learns Uschu (similar Kung-Fu) from the famous teacher Pan... but also learns about political repression, especially when he's forbidden contact with some of his friends. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As a student in America, he searched for ancient wisdom. As a teacher in China, he learned to find it within himself.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ferro & seta  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$356,077 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Took four years to film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mark: [voiceover] I hate to admit it, but when I graduated from college, I thought I was ready for anything. That is, until I stepped off the train in Hangzhou. Here I was in a country of a billion people, and I didn't know a single one. This place was different than what I'd expected. It wasn't at all like what I'd seen in the Kung Fu movies. No one else I knew stayed up all night to watch that stuff, but I was hooked.
[screaming, Kung Fu movie clips with English subtitles]
Mark: The hero was ...
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Connections

References The Big Boss (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my favorite films ever
20 February 2005 | by (San Diego, California) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on VHS in the early 1990's, and it made a big impression on me in three ways: appreciation of cultural differences between East and West, appreciation of martial arts, and the lingering sadness that political stupidity could prevent two average people who loved each other from being together. Although I only saw the film once back then, I regarded it as one of the best films I'd ever seen because it made such a lasting impression. It even taught me to say "How are you?" and "Thank you" in Chinese, which remain the only Chinese language I know to this day! So I waited with patience of a martial arts master for it to become available on DVD. Finally, in 2005, I was rewarded with the DVD release, and it was every bit as good as I'd remembered.

As others have mentioned, it is not a flashy Hollywood-type film. Almost the entire movie seems to be filmed through a thin fog that emphasizes this was filmed on location in China (and that's a good thing). Only a full-screen version seemed to be available, yet I don't feel like anything was lost. Even the spectacular martial arts training scenes fit well withing the frame. Watching those Chinese children perform with the skill of seasoned veterans is awe-inspiring, and humbling.

This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I couldn't be happier to own it on DVD. It's a shame there are no special features to tell more about how the film was made, what was real and what was fiction, etc. Even so, I can't recommend this film strongly enough. 10/10.


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