In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ...
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A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... 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 »
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without ... See full summary »
A spurned lover seeks a rich man for revenge. A random onlooker -- who witnessed the public assault committed by the rich man against the lover -- seeks for monetary compensation for his ... See full summary »
Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »
Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there's not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi's stubbornness may be Huike and the village school's salvation. Written by
Yimou insisted on capturing natural reactions from the amateur actors. To achieve this, he often used hidden cameras and microphones. This resulted in a film-shot to film-used ratio of 35 to 1. Normally, because of cost, the ratio should be 3.5 to 1. However, because the film was shot on 16mm (an later blown up to 35mm), the price was about the same because of the cheaper film stock. See more »
A definite MUST-SEE or NOT-TO-SEE, depending on...
At the moment this art house gem of a film rates an IMDB 7.9, so obviously many of us film buffs love it. This film is innovative, delicate, and harshly authentic. If you enjoy international film festival flicks, you MUST see this film. Actually I believe this film should be required viewing for film students who aspire to be directors, cinematographers, etc.
However, if you prefer action, Hollywood formula flicks, car chases or even complex plots, then avoid this film. You will probably fall asleep or just be irritated.
If you watch this film with your heart, with a good dose of patience, you you will then understand the message. If tears do not come to you during the main character's emotional appeal, then you are probably not aligned with the spirit of this film.
Personally I was stunned by the deep impact this film had on me. Yes, it was indeed 'slow', but this allowed for the genuine portrayal of common hope and suffering. I have been a film buff for over 4 decades and this film stands out as refreshingly different. By the way, it is supposed to be a true story, and this added significantly to the film's realism. Also, it does seem that none of the people in the film were professional actors, which is amazing in spite of a sort of documentary feel at times. If you have an open heart and mind, see it!
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