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Zhang Yimou returns to a more basic form of film-making in this touching story of innocent love from China's Cutural Revolution era. Very strong performances add substance to an otherwise simple story of young lovers burdened by societal difficulties in their efforts to be together. Ms. Zhou is very good in her role as a young, innocent woman who meets a special boy, Shawn Dou, amid the turbulence of China's revolutionary years. Both girl and boy are sent to the country-side to labor under Mao's crazed design for social re-ordering. The film does not focus so much on the madness of the times as on the fear of being labeled politically incorrect which, coupled with the socially conservative norms of traditional China, serve to encumber the innocent desire to be together. A slow but nicely filmed story of heartache and heartbreak.
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