"Spring in a Small Town" is a very simple movie--a simple premise, a small cast and it's all done in a very restrained manner. It's a definite example of minimalistic cinema and is worth your time.
The film is set in rural China--just a year before the Communist takeover. Liyan is sickly--with tuberculosis. However, his main problem is depression--he feels very sorry for himself and has no will to do anything. Most of the time, he just sits outside and broods. Not surprisingly, his wife (Yuwen) is not happy but is quite dutiful towards her husband. Into this sad family comes a surprise visit from one of Liyan's old friends who he hasn't seen in a decade. But it gets more complicated. The friend (Zhang) is shocked to see that Liyan's wife is his old lover!! Not surprisingly, he and Yuwen say nothing and at first, they keep their distance. Where does all this go? It probably doesn't go exactly where you expect....see it and find out for yourself.
My score of 8 is awfully high for such a simple film, but I was impressed that the movie was handled so simply and honestly. My only complaint, and you can't blame the filmmakers, is that the quality of the DVD print is pretty poor. My assumption is that Cinema Epoch did not have access to a better copy--though it would be nice to see this film restored to eliminate the scratches and clean everything up a bit.
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