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Postmen in the Mountains (1999)
"Nashan naren nagou" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1999 (China)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 886 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

A father, a retiring mailman, walks his son over his job in the mountainous regions of Hunan province.

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Title: Postmen in the Mountains (1999)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hao Chen ...
Dong girl
...
Son
Rujun Ten ...
Father
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Storyline

An old postman has spent his whole life delivering mail to the mountain of Hunan and is about to retire. His only son is due to take over his duties. As father and son journey through the mountains, the son begins to appreciate the toil and burden his father has to bear as postman for the villagers, and the old postman is also deeply moved as his son relates his mother's anxiety as she waits for him to return home from every trip. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1999 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Postiers dans les montagnes  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,045 (USA) (23 January 2004)

Gross:

$203,975 (USA) (1 July 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Michael Learns to Rock's "That's Why You Go Away" is featured in the film's diegetic soundtrack. But according to the film's beginning intertitles, the movie is set in the early 1980s, which make it impossible for any radio station to play the song, which was released in the 1990s. See more »

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User Reviews

bitter-sweet nostalgia
2 August 2011 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A postman in the Hunan region is retiring, passing on the role to his son. The route is a gruelling one through the mountains, and Dad's knees can't take the pounding any more. On Son's first day, Dad and dog Buddy accompany him to familiarise him with the route. The job has kept Dad away for long stretches, so Dad and Son use the journey to re-acquaint themselves.

The meagre plot is more than compensated for by lush photography, naturalistic acting and keen attention to detail. Son realises his father does more than just deliver mail; he keeps families together, protects the weak and vulnerable, provides guidance to the young. Father realises that his son is a man and has missed having a father over the years. Son hears the story of how his father met his mother on the route - and then gets to enact possibly his own story of pre-destined lovers...

You feel as if you are on the mountain paths with these three (the dog is very much a character in the travels). Their journey, both physical and spiritual, speaks to family, belonging, human connection and what the sum of a working life adds to. There is a passing of the baton, a shift from one stage in life to another, for all involved. The dog becomes the symbol for the acceptance of this at the end, in a hugely cathartic visual mise-en-scene. An elegiac and uplifting film, imbibed with humility.


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