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 ... See full summary »
Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry. Addicted to gambling, Fugui loses everything. In the years that ... 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 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 »
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 »
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Yu-liang leaves a brothel in a small Chinese town, to become the second wife of Mr. Pan. While Pan is away at the revolution in Yunnan, Yu-liang ... See full summary »
Young violinist Xiaochun and his father move from their small, provincial town to Beijing so Xiaochun can audition for a prestiguous music academy. Their new life is unfamiliar but full of promise, allowing the young man to truly figure out which direction he wants to take in life. Written by
When Lili offers the bank book to Liu Chen, the shot from behind her shows her holding it out to him in both hands. In the next shot from the front, her hands are holding the bank book in her lap. See more »
Human feelings are universal whether you are a Chinese living in a crowded and vulgar country village or an American living in a comfortable and affluent suburban neighborhood. However, the experiences are different enough that there are subtleties in this Chinese film that only Chinese can truly appreciate.
I never wrote an online comment of a film before even though I have read a great deal. Unlike most of other films, comments on Chen Kaige's "together" is surprisingly divided into two extremes: love it or hate it. Maybe this observation prompted me to write something to express my feelings during and after watching this film.
I grew up in a small town in rural China, very much like the one shown in the film. My father isn't a "vulgar" peasant as the father in the film, and I wasn't a "prodigy" of anything by any measures either. The kind of strong character and sensitivity the kid showed is something I wish I had when I was a teenager. The incredible sacrifice and love the father showed in the film is also a bit surreal to me. In other words, my experience is much more real with little melodrama involved.
However, the film actually made me cry when sitting in the cinema, not just because of the melodrama and the music, more so because it made me miss my own father and remember many small moments between us that are not so much drama but only our daily experiences.
When I left cinema, I overheard a middle-aged American white couple in front of me making comments: "a cute little film, isn't it?" I can tell from the dialogue that they experienced different things when watching the film because they appreciate the details of ordinary Chinese life such as how the coal is used for heating tea. To me, those details are not novelties to appreciate, they WERE my existence and everyday experiences.
I will stop here not to violate the IMDB guideline. After all, everyone's experience is unique. Everyone has their ethos deep from their upbringing and culture. I am just glad that this film brings me a Chinese experience of love between a father and a son that I can relate to.
34 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?