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

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8.3/10   12,240 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Wei Lu (screenplay)
Hua Yu (novel)
View company contact information for To Live on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1994 (USA) See more »
After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An emotional, rewarding experience See more (89 total) »


  (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
Xiaofeng Hu .... production supervisor
Wenhua Ma .... production manager
Barbara Robinson .... production supervisor
Pingan Wang .... production manager
Jianmin Zhang .... assistant production manager
Zhenyan Zhang .... production supervisor
Art Department
Genlin Ding .... props assistant
Xinming Huang .... assistant art director
Xiong Jiang .... location manager
Liang Li .... assistant art director
Liang Li .... set assistant
Guangming Liu .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Hua Liu .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Xingwen Liu .... artist: leather lamp shadow play
Zhong Liu .... assistant art director
Zhong Liu .... set assistant
Guangtang Meng .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Jinglu Pan .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Zhixiao Qu .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Yulong Shen .... property master
Zhuang Tian .... assistant art director
Pu Wang .... property master
Zhenzhong Wang .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Kuanhou Yang .... artist: traditional shadow play props
Lingen Yuan .... property master
Sound Department
Tomeno Geya .... sound editor
Shinichi Ito .... sound mixer
Koshiro Jinbo .... sound mixer
Masato Komatsu .... sound editor
Yoshihiro Nakayama .... sound mixer
Makoto Ono .... re-recording mixer
Jing Tao .... sound
Hiroshi Yamagata .... re-recording mixer
Visual Effects by
Tôru Adachi .... visual effects supervisor (as Malin Post)
Komei Moriyama .... visual effects
Sachiyo Ogawa .... visual effects
Tetsuo Ohya .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Tianming Chen .... gaffer
Changyou Han .... assistant lighting
Huiliang Jin .... assistant lighting
Ali Li .... assistant camera
Linfa Li .... assistant lighting
Changtai Liu .... key grip
Yun Lu .... assistant lighting
Weibing Meng .... chief cameraman
Hong Qi .... assistant camera
Yinfang Shen .... gaffer
Tong Wang .... assistant camera
Weimin Yu .... assistant camera
Li Zhang .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Nobutake Kamiya .... negative editor
Atsushi Nakagawa .... negative editor
Masami Ohashi .... negative editor
Other crew
Hiroyuki Fukushima .... film development
Ryuji Kobi .... film development
Chung-Chu Leung .... production advisor: Hong Kong
Joyce Pierpoline .... publicist
Eiichi Takahashi .... film development
Yicong Wu .... film development

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Huo zhe" - China (original title)
"Life Times" - Hong Kong (English title) (alternative title)
See more »
133 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This film is banned in China. However, there are a number of pirate copies you can buy on the street.See more »
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 »
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77 out of 81 people found the following review useful.
An emotional, rewarding experience, 26 February 2005
Author: silentcheesedude from Florida, USA

It's a shame that not more people have seen this movie, judging by the amount of user comments and ratings. Now that director Yimou Zhang ('Hero' & 'House of Flying Daggers') has become more popular, I'm hoping this will change.

'Huozhe' or 'To Live' takes us on a trip in China that will last us from the 40's through the 70's. Through that time, we will see life through the eyes of Fugui and Jiazhen, a husband and wife with 2 children, as well as Fugui's mother.

Fugui, the husband, has a gambling problem which will set off a chain of events that will have them lose the house, and eventually separate the family. Jiazhen, his wife, is forced to take a job which will put a strain on her children. Communist and nationalist armies battle each other, and the rise of Chairman Mao will affect them as well. Fugui will go through layers of mishaps that will change him forever. I don't want to detail anything more about the plot, it's much more worth viewing it and experiencing it then anything I can ever say here.

Not once is this movie boring, effectively placing us there, with the family. The acting seems so natural that it feels like you are there, traveling with them, rather then viewing them through a camera. This of course shows the strength of Zhang's directing. You Ge plays Fugui, a popular actor in China, won the award for the Cannes Film Festival. Li Gong is beautiful, and portrays her character with such passion, it's no wonder she has been nominated nearly a dozen times, winning most.

Emotional without being sappy, honest, & historically accurate, the film does have a black shroud covering it. In times of sadness, it's lifted a bit to allow us to see happiness, indeed, life, pull this family together. It even has bits of humor in it, at times, I laughed along with the family as much as I felt their pain. Little details, such paintings in the background that chip away as time goes by, shows how much care went into making this film. Characters that seem unimportant become part of the story later.

What a wonderful film. When I saw it 10 years ago, it not only changed the way I saw foreign movies, it also changed the way I see life and people. Any movie that can do that is one I highly recommend to anyone.

A perfect 10 out of 10.

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