Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hongwei Wang ...
Minliang
...
Ruijuan
Jing Dong Liang ...
Chang Jun
Tian-yi Yang ...
Zhong Pin
Bo Wang ...
Yao Eryong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
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Storyline

Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the '80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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contemplative cinema | 1980s | See All (2) »

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Drama | History

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Release Date:

29 August 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Platform  »

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| | (Tokyo FILMeX 2000)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2001 (#06) See more »

Connections

Features Awaara (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Zhantai (Platform)
Performed by 'Liu'
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User Reviews

 
brilliant chronicle of two decades of economic liberalization
28 May 2002 | by (alphaville) – See all my reviews

Platform ("Stage" might be a better translation)shows us the lives of a troupe of actors as China went from Maoism to markets, from 1980 to the 1990s. The treatment is sardonic and distant; we rarely see anyone in a closeup, and the point of view is as critical of liberalization (embodied in bad rock and go-go dancing) as it is of the cult of Mao (performed in the hilarious socialist-patriotic opera at the beginning of the movie). As Fassbinder said of the movies of Douglas Sirk, material objects--a brick wall, a pile of boards, a marketful of cheap clothing, bowls of noodles, embroidered slipcovers, copies of bellbottom pants, a truck, etc.--are at the center of the mise en scene, appropriately so, since the story is indeed about material changes. In fact the movie bears a lot of resemblance to Fassbinder's Marriage of Maria Braun, as both trace growing prosperity, consumerism, and personal alienation through a sequence of rooms, houses, relationships, and home furnishings. Provincial China moves from dirt, scarcity, and collectivism to a modest supply of consumer goods and more individual freedom/insecurity. This historical movement is intertwined with the characters' aging from their teens to middle age. There is no appreciable increase in human joy and happiness, nor a marked decrease either. This cold, distant treatment will not please some viewers.


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