When Song Qi stumbles upon her boyfriend's affair with her best friend, her life quickly starts falling apart and she is subsequently drawn into a quicksand of revenge and murder. Though ... See full summary »
Natsume - a teen fashion model from Tokyo - feels empty inside after having moved into a country town with her family. One day, she meets Koh, heir of Shinto priest family ruling the area ... See full summary »
Three thieves try to steal a valuable jade that is tightly guarded by a security chief. But the security guards are not the only obstacle these thieves are facing. An extremely unlucky ... See full summary »
Hired to spy on a philandering husband, Luo Haitao soon becomes entangled in a clandestine affair with the other man. Along with Luo's girlfriend, they succumb to the delirium of drunken nights, but how long can their tryst last?
Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China). A year ... See full summary »
In the 1970s, the Hong Kong government enacted a policy that granted each male heir of New Territories villagers the privilege to build a house without paying any dues to the government. ... See full summary »
As a conceited scholar of the Ming Dynasty, Wei Yangsheng believes that since life is short, one should pursue the ultimate sexual pleasure as time allows. Wei Yangsheng encounters Tie Fei ... See full summary »
Christopher Lap-Key Sun
Leni Lan Crazybarby,
To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son; after the Zhao child grows up, the doctor becomes intent on seeking his vengeance.
Lin Dong and Wang Mei are a childless couple in Beijing, wealthy, approaching middle age. Lin owns a foot-massage parlor. One afternoon he rapes one of his workers, Liu Pingguo, who has nearly passed out from drinking alcohol with a friend. Part of the assault is witnessed by Liu's husband, An Kun, a window washer. He's angry with the boss and with his wife, and he seeks compensation. Lin's wife counsels him and joins in revenge. Then, Liu realizes she's pregnant and a set of emotional calculations ensues: Lin wants to buy the child, Wang agrees but has conditions, An Kun goes back and forth and barely contains his anger; Liu withdraws. The baby comes. Can anything be sorted out? Written by
What happens to a collectivist, traditional society after it is traumatized by two extreme social experiments within a period of half a century dehumanizing communism and equally alienating rampant materialism? Perhaps the best film to come out of mainland China in a decade, Yu Li's Ping Guo is both a scathing social commentary on the state of present day China and a moving human drama. The film, as well as its characters, looks like Beijing: Grey, polluted, crowded and confused. Acting is uniformly excellent. Bingbing Fan, the stunning young actress with morning-after eyes, is superb in the title role as the all-too-human Ping Guo. As the story unfolds and the humanity of the other three leads begin to rise above their greed and apathy, Ping finds her inner strength. The ending, which should be predictable, comes as a touching surprise.
Others have commented enough on the story. It is best to walk into this film without knowing too much about it. If you are a frequent visitor to China or an observer of its mind-blowing ascent, the film will have more to say to you. However, both the story and the characters are universal. Even a passing knowledge of that fascinating society is sufficient to enjoy this minor masterpiece, although you might miss its many subtle ironies.
Chinese authorities banned the film from being shown in China. They also banned its producers from working in the industry for two years. The decision, which is almost an unofficial award, won't stop those who want to watch it.
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