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.
Loneliness, saving face, and public mores. In 1983 in China, Yun is a bright schoolgirl who gets pregnant. She's expelled, her boyfriend leaves town, and her mother arranges the baby's ... See full summary »
Two women, Qun and Ling, have a peaceful and loving relationship. But Qun's mother arrive to pay a visit and, not knowing her daughter is a lesbian, tries to arrange boyfriends for her. And... See full summary »
In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.
In the twilight of the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With the Manchurians preying on a weakened empire, war is imminent. To save ... See full summary »
Lin, a sea captain, returns from a 6 month journey when he is told that his 25-year-old son Lin Bo has been gunned down by the police. In his quest to understand what happened, he realizes ... See full summary »
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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