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 »
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 »
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
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 »
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 »
Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
A spurned lover seeks a rich man for revenge. A random onlooker -- who witnessed the public assault committed by the rich man against the lover -- seeks for monetary compensation for his ... See full summary »
In a village of fishermen in Japan, Takata misses his son Kenichi, to whom he has been estranged for many years. When his daughter-in-law Rie tells him that Kenichi is sick in the hospital, she suggests Takata to come to Tokyo to visit his son in the hospital where he would have the chance to retie the relationship. However, Kenichi refuses to receive his father in his room, and Rie gives a videotape to Takata to know about the work of his son. Once at home, Takata sees a documentary in the remote village Lijiang, in the province of Younnan, about the passion of Kenichi, the Chinese opera, where the lead singer Li Jiamin promises to sing an important folk opera on the next year. When Rie calls Takata to tell that her husband has a terminal liver cancer, Takata decides to travel to Lijiang to shoot Li Jiamin singing the opera to give to Kenichi. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The film was denied the Official Selection berth in Cannes. See more »
In the village scene Mr. Takata has to move to the highest location to make a phone call. In the following scene however he can receive phone calls while at a banquet in the lower part of the village. See more »
In this film, Zhang Yimou portrays the stark difference between Japanese and Chinese culture without succumbing to biased tendencies. Among the numerous cultural differences, perhaps the greatest visual distinction would be the colorful masses of China against the gray, solitude of Japan. The audience becomes aware of these contrasts as Takata, a Japanese father sets out on a journey to China in hopes of improving his estranged relationship with his son who is dying from liver cancer. Through his travels Takata comes to a greater understanding about life, himself, and his son's interest with the Chinese culture, especially the folk operas.
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