8.3/10
11,503
90 user 21 critic

To Live (1994)

Huo zhe (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 16 December 1994 (USA)
After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Ben Niu ...
Town Chief
...
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To Live  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,332,728 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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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 Loving Jezebel (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, painfully heartbreaking.
21 December 1999 | by (Sunnyvale, Ca) – See all my reviews

I think most of us can watch Freddy Krueger rip people apart and barely flinch. Not that Nightmare on Elm Street is a bad film, it never inflicts pain on the viewer.

But this film is so beautiful and so real, that it's unbearably heartbreaking at times. Every time I watch it, and I know a particular heartbreaking scene is coming up, I almost want to turn it off, but I'm just frozen in place, forced to experience the pain of the people on screen, that I've traveled three decades with. Zhang's understanding of the people of China, and the tragedy of history is full of empathy, respect, and adoration. In every scene, Gong Li embodies strength and beauty. Zhang's study of communism and of the Chinese government, isn't a villifying one sided argument, but one with complete understanding of the tragedy of this huge social experiment, that effected not only China, but the whole world.

As a Korean American, I draw some appreciation at the parallel effects on Communism on Korea. Mao-Kim, Taiwan-SouthKorea. But this is a truly universal movie, and anyone would enjoy it.


31 of 38 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
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