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The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)
"Qiu Ju da guan si" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  16 April 1993 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,324 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 22 critic

A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »

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(writer of the the novella on which the film is based, "The Wan Family's Lawsuit"),
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Qiu Ju
Peiqi Liu ...
Wan Qinglai, chili farmer
Liuchun Yang ...
Meizi, Qinglai's sister
Kesheng Lei ...
Wang Shantang, village chief
Zhijun Ge ...
Officer Li
Wanqing Zhu
Luowen Cui
Huiqin Yang
Jianfa Wang
Zi Lin
Jun Ye
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Storyline

A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of the hierarchy and travels farther and farther away from the countryside the viewer is also provided with a look at the changing Chinese society through the verite camera used in most scenes. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of Qiu Ju  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,890,247 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lawyer Wu: [subtitles] Qiu Ju, in civil and administrative lawsuits, the defendants aren't necessarily bad people.
Qiu Ju: Do good people sue each other?
Lawyer Wu: Of course!
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Connections

Referenced in Not One Less (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film that stays with you long after the final shot
14 February 2004 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Zhang Yimou's "The Story of Qiu Ju" is not a masterpiece as is his film "Raise the Red Lantern." It doesn't have the epic qualities of "To Live" nor is it as visually stunning as "The Road Home." But "Qiu Ju" may well be Yimou's most thought provoking film, leaving you pondering the messages a long time after the film has ended.

Qiu Ju's husband has been kicked ("where it counts") by the village chief. The only bit of justice Qiu Ju wants is an apology. It seems to be a simple enough request, but her search for the apology proves to be elusive as she encounters a legal system more interested in its own red tape than in the needs of ordinary people.

But this is not "Erin Brockovich" where the sides of "good" and "bad" are easily defined. The people in the legal system Qiu Ju encounters are genuinely decent folks. They are also, unfortunately, a bit clueless. And Qiu Ju is not beyond reproach herself. At the conclusion of the film even she is realizing that she has pushed the matter too far.

Just how far should one go to seek justice in this world? Even if you are totally in the right, does there come a time when you must let the matter rest for your own sake as well as everybody else's? There are no easy answers.

This is another great performance by Gong Li in the title role. She may be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but here she is not above playing "dowdy." And as usual, Zhang Yimou is nearly flawless in his direction. He gives a wonderful tip of the hat to the late French director Francois Truffaut in the end, echoing that famous final shot of Truffaut's "The 400 Blows."

But this is a film that will stick with you well past that last shot.


25 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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