IMDb > To Live (1994)
Huo zhe
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

To Live (1994) More at IMDbPro »Huo zhe (original title)

Photos (See all 23 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   9,967 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Wei Lu (screenplay)
Hua Yu (novel)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for To Live on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 1994 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Chinese history on a human scale See more (85 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

You Ge ... Xu Fugui

Li Gong ... Xu Jiazhen
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

Directed by
Yimou Zhang 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Wei Lu  screenplay
Hua Yu  novel
Hua Yu  screenplay

Produced by
Fu-Sheng Chiu .... producer
Funhong Kow .... producer
Christophe Tseng .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jiping Zhao 
 
Cinematography by
Yue Lü 
 
Film Editing by
Yuan Du 
 
Art Direction by
Juiping Cao 
 
Production Management
Pingan Wang .... production manager
Zhenyan Zhang .... production manager
 
Sound Department
Jing Tao .... sound
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Huo zhe" - China (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Clint Eastwood's personal favorite of the competition entries at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival where Eastwood was Jury President.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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Turandot Project (2000)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Chinese history on a human scale, 14 February 2006
Author: marissas75 from United States

Yimou Zhang's "To Live" begins in the late 1940s and covers several decades in the life of Fugui (You Ge), his wife Jiazhen (Li Gong), and their two children. It is an excellent family drama, provoking both laughter and tears, and distinguishing itself from similar movies because of its commitment to showing how China's changing society affects the family. It takes the huge subject of "the first twenty years of Communism in China," and brings it down to a human scale.

Both leading actors nicely portray the way their characters change over the years. At first, Fugui is the stereotypical "callow young man" and Jiazhen the even more stereotypical "long- suffering wife," but the screenplay and actors eventually deepen the characterizations.

The best sequence of the film covers the Chinese Civil War. Wisely, Yimou Zhang resists the temptation to make the movie too epic, and instead focuses on Fugui's personal experiences. The result is a very moving depiction of the human cost of war. In another striking touch, Fugui's hobby is singing with a shadow-puppet troupe. The puppets not only provide an interesting glimpse into traditional Chinese culture, they also take on a symbolic meaning.

After watching "To Live," it's easy to see why the Chinese authorities banned it: there's a lot of tragedy in the film, and in most cases, Communism is to blame. Remarkably, though, Zhang also makes many of the Communist characters sympathetic. For instance, Fugui and Jiazhen's daughter marries an officer in the Red Guards, who is a little ridiculous in his devotion to Mao Zedong, but not a villain. This is in keeping with the overall spirit of "To Live"--humanistic and subtle, instead of bombastic or propagandistic. It's both an important examination of recent Chinese history, and a universal story about how individual human beings manage "to live" in times of hardship. A rare combination, and one well worth seeing.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (85 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for To Live (1994)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How did Fengxia die?? its-hard-to-explain
Is Long'er Japanese? ahoymematey2000
Your reviews make me wonder if i saw the same film.. Trickyrich
One of the ten great films ever jrl0726
Soundtrack chuckatomic
Has anyone read the book? vietdawg
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Best of Youth Downfall Kings & Queen Persepolis 1900
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb China section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.