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 »
In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. In the nearby red sorghum fields she falls for one of his servants. When the master dies she finds... See full summary »
The circularity of violence seen in a story that circles on itself. In Macedonia, during war in Bosnia, Christians hunt an ethnic Albanian girl who may have murdered one of their own. A ... See full summary »
During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care... See full summary »
The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life ... See full summary »
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
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
This film is banned in China. However, there are a number of pirate copies you can buy on the street. See more »
[playing with chickens]
When will they grow up?
And then... the chickens will turn into geese... and the geese will turn into sheep... and the sheep will turn into oxen.
And after the oxen?
After oxen, Little Bun will grow up.
I want to ride on an ox's back.
You will ride on an ox's back.
Little Bun won't ride on an ox... he'll ride trains and planes... and life will get better and better.
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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.
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