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Ju Dou (1990)

 -  Drama  -  April 1991 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,856 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 23 critic

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 »

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Title: Ju Dou (1990)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ma Chong
Zhijun Cong
Wu Fa
...
Jia Jin
Baotian Li ...
Wei Li ...
Xingli Niu
Yang Qianbin
Zhang Yi ...
Tianbai as child
Jia Zhaoji
Ji-an Zheng ...
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Storyline

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 revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor E Sedução  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,986,433 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Zhang YiMou's masterpiece
24 February 2001 | by (Phoenix, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Ju Dou was censored and banned in China because it was considered politically dangerous by portraying the lead female character as rebelling against the male in authority. After it was promptly banned, it was resurrected and made available for Western Hemisphere audiences via the official protests of directors like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg. As a result, we have at our disposal, one of the most beautifully constructed love stories ever made.

Despite the fact that this film was made within our contemporary era it presents an honest and frank portrayal without much sex or violence. Nevertheless, it still remains an intense piece of cinema. Interestingly, even though the story is set in the 1920's, the attitudes and manner of behavior reflect the attitudes of our times rather than the 1920's. The story is essentially a variation on a fairly familiar story-the basic premise being that of an older man being married to a younger woman, but is incapable of both satisfying her and providing offspring, so she finds a younger man who is capable of satisfying her. When she does, they conceive a child that the old man thinks is his. This usually makes for a poignant response to the old man's dilemma, because usually, the old man is portrayed as a sympathetic figure. In Ju Dou, he is anything but sympathetic, which makes for a whole new series of conflicting responses from the viewer.

Ju Dou is a film that transitions well between scenes, which is apparent in the film's structure. When seeing Ju Dou the viewer may want to take into consideration the three part structure of the film: a.) The beginning to where the old man becomes crippled b.) The second portion, which involves the birth of the son to where one of the lead character's dies and c.) The third portion, which involves the child. Ju Dou is a quiet and menacing film. When it hits its moments of high drama, it is very similar to a Greek tragedy. What stands out is the stoic nature of the characters, the incredible love scenes, and the final shocking conclusion.


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