MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,603 this week

To Live (1994)
"Huo zhe" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  December 1994 (USA)
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 9,966 users  
Reviews: 85 user | 20 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 07 Mar 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 May 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 07 Aug 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "To Live" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: To Live (1994)

To Live (1994) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of To Live.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Romance sparks between a young woman and a young man from different economic backgrounds during China's Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Dongyu Zhou, Shawn Dou, Meijuan Xi
Happy Times (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Lifan Dong, Benshan Zhao, Jie Dong
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Japanese father travels to China's Yunnan province in the place of his ailing son to film a famous folk-opera star.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ken Takakura, Kiichi Nakai, Shinobu Terajima
Coming Home (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Tao Guo
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Yu Xia, Xiaogang Feng, Le Geng
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The owner of a Chinese noodle shop's scheme to murder his adulterous wife and her lover goes awry.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Dahong Ni, Ni Yan, Xiao Shen-Yang
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Wen Jiang, Kenya Sawada, Yihong Jiang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Not far from Shanghai, in a country twon stands the palatial home of the Pang family. Old Master Pang is an addict who brings up his beautiful daughter Ruyi on opium smoke. Her older ... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Li Gong, Kevin Lin
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Ben Niu ...
Town Chief
Wu Jiang ...
Wan Erxi
Deng Fei ...
Xu Youqing
Tao Guo ...
Chunsheng
Tianchi Liu ...
Xu Fengxia, as an adult
Zongluo Huang ...
Fu Gui's Dad
Yanjin Liu ...
Fu Gui's Mom
Dahong Ni ...
Long'er
Lian-Yi Li ...
Sgt. Lao Quan
Xiao Cong ...
Xu Fengxia, as a teenager
Zhang Lu ...
Fengxia, as a child
Yan Su
Edit

Storyline

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 follow he is pressed into both the nationalist and communist armies, while Jiazhen is forced into menial work. They raise a family and survive, managing "to live" from the 40's to the 70's in this epic, but personal, story of life through an amazing period. Written by docraven

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To Live  »

Box Office

Gross:

SGD 482,000 (Singapore)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is banned in China. However, there are a number of pirate copies you can buy on the street. See more »

Quotes

Little Bun: [playing with chickens] When will they grow up?
Xu Jiazhen: Very soon.
Little Bun: And then?
Xu Fugui: And then... the chickens will turn into geese... and the geese will turn into sheep... and the sheep will turn into oxen.
Little Bun: And after the oxen?
Xu Fugui: After oxen...
Xu Jiazhen: After oxen, Little Bun will grow up.
Little Bun: I want to ride on an ox's back.
Xu Jiazhen: You will ride on an ox's back.
Xu Fugui: Little Bun won't ride on an ox... he'll ride trains and planes... and life will get better and better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Safety in Rubber (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Simple epic, masterfully made
19 July 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

When I re-watched FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE recently I was surprised that it was much less political than I remembered it being. Turns out that's because I'd somehow merged together that film and TO LIVE together in my poor muddled brain. Both have some similarities, beyond the common appearance of Gong Li in front and Zhang Yimou behind the camera, but TO LIVE definitely confronts the political (I should really say "social") aspects of the decades they cover much more directly and forcefully.

TO LIVE (aka LIFETIMES - I dunno what the Chinese name is) basically covers 3 or 4 decades of one family's life in China, in a period that saw not one but two revolutions, and looks at the effect the social upheaval had on ordinary people's lives. The film rarely criticises the political movements instigated by Mao Tse Tung, but does an effective job of showing the hellishness of a society that has been turned on its head, where the people are forced to change not just the way they live but the way they think, and people are forced into social relationships that are new, and quite possibly against human nature.

I hope I won't jeapordise my visa if I admit that I had strong leanings towards Communism when I was younger, having read Marx in philosophy classes. His picture of a society without private possessions or social hierarchy did seem very appealing, but Marx acknowledged that the only way for such a society to work was if every member saw the value of it and willingly took part in it, and admitted that the only way that was likely to happen was via massive revolution - i.e. killing everyone that didn't agree with the plan. As a teenager, that didn't seem like such a big price or problem

Certainly I'm not the only person to have considered this price worth paying, and a couple of people have actually put the plan into practice - lamentably with less than stellar results. Mao Tse Tung is, I guess, the undisputed king of Communist revolution, having led TWO of them in China, and probably disrupting more peoples' lives than anybody else in history in the process. TO LIVE gives those of us that haven't had to live through such conditions some idea of what it might have been like. People used to the cushy capitalist western lifestyle might wonder just how on earth people can live through conditions like that, but that's the what the film wants to say... life might deal you some crappy hands, but people are remarkably adaptable and resilient, and you've just got to try to live the best you can. It sounds remarkably trite put like that, but the film does a good job of expressing it.

The film is based on a novel, with the author co-writing the screenplay as well. Zhang Yimou directs brilliantly as usual, which in this case is to recognise the strength of the story and characters and to back off a little, giving them space to live their lives. Although the film looks great throughout, the cinematography is quite unobtrusive. He once more elicits a great performance from Gong Li and the rest of the cast, with leading man Ge You giving the best one of all. The film has occasionally been criticised for throwing piling too much tragedy on, but this is never done in an exploitative/manipulative way, and Zhang Yimou avoids turning to melodrama to evoke an audience reaction... which makes him all the more likely to get one (and without the audience feeling used afterwards).

In a career full of magnificent films, TO LIVE stands as one of Zhang Yimou's finest moments. The film is epic yet remarkably simple, and the execution is as near to flawless as I've seen. I doubt that even Akira Kurosawa could have handled the material better, which is to say that Zhang Yimou surely ranks in the world's top echelon of film-makers. Long may his life and career continue

Highest recommendation!


47 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Your reviews make me wonder if i saw the same film.. Trickyrich
How did Fengxia die?? its-hard-to-explain
What is the meaning behind the title? Lefantome16
Has anyone read the book? vietdawg
My stupid DVD is broken! Someone please fill in a gap solo_duk
Book alice_wooly
Discuss To Live (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?