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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

interesting dynamic between the two female characters

8/10
Author: rougie_88 from United States
9 May 2009

i thought i needed to comment after the last summary person wrote a scathing commentary. i thought this film is worth checking out, not just for the historical aspect, but for the relationship between the two women and the one man. These women were both expelled from their brothels and brought to rehab camps in order to become model communist citizens, but one escapes in order to live with her lover. This lover lives with his mom who hates that there is a former prostitute living with her and her family. Things come to a boil and instead of standing up to his mom, the lover asks the woman to leave and to find a love nest. Her pride is hurt, so she leaves and enters a monastery. He realizes his mistake and tries to retrieve her back and she refuses. He goes to her former sister-like friend and seeks solace from her. Instead of him going back to the first woman, he ends up having a relationship with this girl. It all goes down after that. i thought the switch of character views throughout the whole film, the performances of the actors, and the camera direction was all done to great effect. There is one scene in the middle that will stay with me forever. i totally recommend this film for anyone who loves the Asian cinema like I do. Although it is a little hard to find and out only on VHS, it is totally worth it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful look at a changing China

9/10
Author: chromo from san francisco, usa
26 May 2000

The fortunes of two women, prostitutes, who flee the Chinese revolution by fleeing their brothel as it's being closed down. Through watching their lifelong progress, as they live in various relationships, we see how China was changing, and how it was not.

The film is beautifully photographed, from a distance, with great care paid to establishing their environment: the streets, and the interiors and exteriors of "home." We get special access to domestic life through the "fugitive" device: because they are in hiding, there is suspense simply in their efforts to live an everyday, inconspicuous life.

I recommend the film for its grace, its beauty, and its insight.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A portrayal of communism

7/10
Author: rikkihon from United States
21 March 2005

If you look at the film as an analysis of communism, you will see how one woman follows the communist's path for rehabilitation, while the other runs from the re-socialization process. As they grow in the cultural revolution, you can see how Socialist China starts to effect each person, with shocking results at the end. In this movie, rich land owners go to poverty stricken men, while self-sufficient women turn into Buddhist monks. With clever use of rain as a symbol for loss, this film deconstruct the opposition between old society and the war, between losing one's old life and gaining a new one, and even between sadness and happiness. The use of the color yellow is for Chu Yi's life, and the use of the color red symbolizes the Chinese revolution. Also in this film, the countryside dwellers speak mandarin, a deliberate usage by director Li Sho Hong, one of the few 5th generation female directors in Chinese Cinema.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

nothing remarkable

5/10
Author: lionel2 from Rochester, NY
20 July 2003

this is a petty ineffective love triangle story setting at 1950s china. there is virtually no achivement in any department of film making. you are only watching this for the sake of the historical context. otherwise, skip this and watch 'huo zhe' instead.

4 of 10, not recommended.

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