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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 903 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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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>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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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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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

 
Life transitions for a father and son, amidst stunning mountain beauty
20 November 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

Lovely, sentimental film about life transitions for a father (Ten Rujun) and his young adult son (Liu Ye), set against a background of almost achingly beautiful landscapes photographed in the mountains of Hunan Province in south central China.

The time is the present, and the father, though only in his early 40s, is no longer physically able to conduct his torturous postal route made on foot, carrying a huge mail pack deep into the mountains. He has arranged for his son to inherit his job.

A vital member of the operation is the family dog, a precocious German Shepard who refuses to go out on the route with the son: it's too radical a departure from custom. So the father must also make the son's inaugural trip with him, to get the dog to go along. It's a good thing, too. Because there is much for the young man to learn that the dog alone could not have taught him.

For example, there is a blind woman living on an isolated farm who gets letters from her son living in the city. Actually he only sends money, never a personal note. So the father has made up letters from him to "read" to her over the years. In a small village, everyone turns out and the son can see that his father is deeply revered by the villagers as an important state official and singular link to the larger world.

The father also has some lessons to learn from his son, about village life back home, and the wants and needs of his mother, for the father has truly remained a stranger there through the years. The screenplay was adapted from a short story with the delightful title: "That Postman, That Mountain, That Dog."

The film won the 1999 Chinese Golden Rooster (Jin Ji) awards for best film and best actor (Mr. Ten). It also has been highly popular in Japan. An English subtitled cut was only prepared in 2003 and its distribution in the U.S. began just in mid-autumn, 2004. A gorgeous film about life's passages. (In Mandarin). My rating: 8/10 (B+). (Seen on 03/25/05). If you'd like to read more of my reviews, send me a message for directions to my websites.


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