Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, ... See full summary »
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Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, shifting between a Yunnan village, a campus, and the Gobi Desert. Written by
The movie basically revolves around two interconnecting stories. In the first story, the mother of an 18 year old boy in the countryside of revolutionary China 1976 begins acting strangely once she falls out of a tree trying to retrieve a pair of her shoes that a mysteriously appearing bird, which was repeating "I know, I know, I know," had stolen. In the second story a teacher at a university in Shanghai (same time, 1976) is falsely accused of groping a female doctor at a film (where he is chased down and beaten by a crowd). The final segment of the movie connects the two tales.
I left the theater with several plot questions unanswered and was glad to find out the Chinese audience I watched it with (in Chengdu, China) were equally as puzzled but just as enraptured with the film. You will definitely leave asking questions that I would assert are not possible to answer from the information provided in the film. But you also soon discover that it is really o.k. and the unanswered questions leave you thinking and talking about the film long after you have seen the movie. The film has a magical quality to it, even though it takes place during that most unmagical of times, the Cultural Revolution, with everything except for one scene at the end being set in 1976. The director, Jiang Wen, has only made three films in 15 years, and this is the only one of his that I have seen. But it definitely makes me want to see his other films.
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