|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is also known as Life Death Plunder and Stolen Life.
Yan-ni, a young woman raised in Beijing by relatives, generally sullen and withdrawn. She scarcely knows her parents and doesn't know why she isn't with them; when they visit Beijing, she can't bring herself to speak to them.
The first spark of hope enters her life when she's offered a university place, but (as she informs us voice-over) her ruination begins the day she moves into the college dorm. She meets Muyu (Wu Jun), who drives a delivery truck and is the first person ever to take a shine to her. University students are considered prestigious and have a bright future. He is a lowly driver and a peasant (in his words). Before long, they're dating. Then she gets pregnant, drops out of college and moves into a dingy room in Beijing's "underground city" with her lover who, she belatedly learns, has never been quite honest with her.
This movie is extremely well done in a very subtle way but does get to
the basic universal human truth of the love a mother has for her child
It addresses the social mores that put young mothers in hopeless situations forcing them into outcomes that they never could have imagined could have happened to them at the beginning of a relationship.
This movie not only exposes the evils of the the billions of dollars spent in the world dealing in the shameful lucrative transfer of babies for adoption... but also exposes the painful scars both mother and her lost baby carry for life...in this case the lifelong effects show in a surprisingly subtle twist in the life story of one of the main characters.
Stolen Life gets a message across that needs to be told...exposed to the light of truth.
This movie has a basic problem - a disconnect between the facts of the
story it tells and the tone it takes. The man Muyu is a dastardly
character, no doubt about it, but consider that he works quite hard
living with the main female character, that he makes little money from
his horrible swindle. He remains a struggling ex-villager who is now a
Yet the tone is that the woman with intellectuals for parents has been deeply wronged, no matter how much her emotional blindness and stupid moves contribute to her fate. In one scene he tells her of his disdain for the educated and smugly observes how he, a lowly guy, has swindled her. The message of the film, and it certainly has a message, is that intellectuals should beware and dislike ordinary working folks. The character type of the latter is this womanizing, swindling guy. (Incidentally, the art-film style guarantees that intellectuals more than most folks will be the viewers of Stolen Life.)
This is a very political film, a product of the reaction to the storms of the 1960s. It is a film encouraging elitism, teaching disdain for the people in the basement.
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