IMDb > To Live (1994)
Huo zhe
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
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
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 24 | slideshow)


User Rating:
8.3/10   12,143 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 32% 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:
Moving, comic and political – despite being a little bleak at times it is almost without flaw 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 »
Xu Fugui:What did you name our son?
Xu Jiazhen:"Don't Gamble".
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Safety in Rubber (2007)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Moving, comic and political – despite being a little bleak at times it is almost without flaw, 25 January 2003
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Reasonably well off, Fugui loses all his money due to his gambling addiction. Eventually he loses his house in a game of dice with Long'er. Fugui's pregnant wife Jiazhen leaves him when it is clear he wants his vice over her. With poverty, Fugui comes to his senses and starts work with his own puppet troupe. On the birth of their son Jiazhen returns to the reformed Fugui, but civil war breaks out and Fugui leaves to fight. With things difficult already, the rise of the Maoist regime makes things ever more difficult and the Xu family suffer fortune and misfortune as Communism is formed.

I watched this movie because it had won the top award at Cannes. I hadn't high hopes for some reason, but I figured it was worth a look. I am very glad I did because it is a wonderful little piece that can be enjoyed with little knowledge of the regime against which it is set. The story follows the family's misfortunes and how they are affected by the rise of Chairman Mao. Their plight is touching as they suffer wrongs but also show compassion on others – all the while trying to do the right thing by the system that is impacting on them. Even when tragedy occurs they never blame Communism but heap it on themselves instead.

This unfolds over many years with the rise of Mao as the backdrop. The parrellel between the two things is clear without being forced or rammed down our throats – it's a wonderful bit of handling. Even better is the infusion of comic touches all the way through, the dialogue (even in subtitle form) is great and is witty and touching – I laughed out loud many times.

Not having seen any other films by Zhang, I can only hope they are as good as this one. The cast, too, do a great job with the film. You Ge's Fugui is fabulous – he is a draw from the start on, and his ageing is so convincing that credit must go not only to the makeup but also to Ge for doing so well with potentially tragic figure. Likewise Gong is superb but ages less convincingly. The support cast are all good from the children through to the figures of Mao like Jiang and Niu. The only thing that saddened me about the two great leads is to think that Western cinema will never care to have them in any films – I guess that when it comes to Hong Kong cinema Hollywood only are interested if it has slow-motion and guns! (and they think they're cutting edge!)

Overall I find it very hard to fault this film as it has so much going for it on so many levels. Just as a human story it is excellent, and the historical context only serves to make it better. Comic and touching right to it's perfectly pitched close, this should be searched out by anyone who wants a genuinely moving human tale with political comment sown into each frame without intrusion.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (89 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for To Live (1994)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Your reviews make me wonder if i saw the same film.. Trickyrich
More interesting in view of Chinese censorship than in itself blubb06
How did Fengxia die?? its-hard-to-explain
There is a too much palvdb
What is the meaning behind the title? Lefantome16
Is Long'er Japanese? ahoymematey2000
See more »


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.