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Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family's bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da's mentally-handicapped, exuberant brother, Er Ming, to get Da home). Da stays a couple days, observing his father being social director, marriage counselor, and dispute mediator for his customers and a boon companion to Er. Da is caught between worlds: the decaying district of his childhood and the booming south where he now lives with a wife who's not met his family. When Da realizes his father's health is failing and the district is slated for razing, he must take stock of family and future. Written by
This beautiful story of an elder son coming home, and learning to love and be a part of all those things that he left home to get away from, is poignant and moving. It shows a society that is perhaps strange to us in the Western world, with a sense of family that we have lost. The story is beautiful, sad, and at times funny and comic. It has a feeling of realism that we don't seem to see any longer in our western movies.
The acting is unusual, in that as the movie progresses, it almost gives the impression that it is not acting, but a documentary of ordinary people. This is brilliant directing and movie making.
Would love to see more movies by this director.
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