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Gang de qin (2010)

To fight for custody of his daughter who loves playing the piano, a steel factory worker decides to forge a piano from scratch.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Qianyuan Wang ...
Chen Guilin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yongzhen Guo
Shin-yeong Jang
Qian Liu
Xingyu Liu
Er-yang Luo
...
Shu Xian
Tianyu
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Storyline

Steelworker Chen has a passion for music and plays the accordion in a local band with a close group of friends. When his estranged wife returns one day after years of absence, she demands a divorce and sole custody of their daughter. Chen is at a loss. He doesn't mind divorcing a woman who has become a stranger, but he can't bear to part with his daughter. Chen has worked hard to give her a respectable life and has taught her his love of music. When asked if she'd rather stay with her father or go with her mother, the girl gives a practical, devastating answer: she'll go with whomever can provide her with a piano. Chen cannot afford such a luxury item, but the piano becomes his last hope to save what little is left of his family. With the help of his loyal friends and the support of his lover - the singer in his band - Chen concocts several plans to fulfill his daughter's wish, from sneaking her into the local music school at night to drawing a fake piano. He even tries to steal the ... Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Drama

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15 July 2011 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Piano in a Factory  »

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User Reviews

 
Down and out in Dongbei, a review of Gang De Qin (Piano in a Factory)
1 December 2012 | by (Beijing, China) – See all my reviews

What to do when you are out of work, out of money and out of luck in Dongbei (China's Northeast) and you need a piano? You call on all of your friends, who are just as down and out as you are and you make one yourselves. How hard could that be? Zhang Meng followed up his first film Lucky Dog with another heartwarming and bittersweet comedy film about small town life in Northeastern China, where once thriving communist steelworks have long closed and left much of the population unemployed. I have to say that this is one of the best movies, from any country, that I have seen this year. In The Piano in a Factory, Zhang presents Chen (Wang Qian-Yuan) a father trying hard to raise his daughter as a single dad by playing in a band at weddings and funerals. He is separated from his estranged wife (Jang Shin-Yeong) who has met a wealthy lover and they struggle for custody of of their daughter. The only thing the couple can agree on is that they want their musically talented daughter to play the piano. Chen can not afford one but as the divorce approaches, his wife decides that the daughter can't stay with him if he can't get a piano for her. After trying begging, borrowing and stealing, he enlists the community of his entire network of friends to apply the skills they once plied as proud tradesmen in the mills and factories and build a piano from scratch in the abandoned mill before it is torn down. Their struggle to make do with almost nothing is as tender as it is funny. Without the funds to purchase the needed hardwood, the steelworkers decide to make an all-steel piano. As a backdrop to this tale is the dissolution of the traditional way of Chinese life, represented by twin smoke stacks slated for demolition. The townsfolk petition to save them, even as Chen tries to hold together the remnants of his family life. But the towers come down to make way for new construction which is happening all over China. The most touching and comic feature is the familiar and warm way Zhang portrays the village folk. Each of them is flawed and has their weaknesses, but Zhang shows a real community with real heart (and petty gossips and small squabbles.) The strength of that community is that when one of its members is in need, they drop everything and pull together, but not perhaps without some complaints. This often comical story of a community of friends (and sometimes enemies) coming together to help each other out in need is deeply inspiring. Zhang provided a well balanced and well paced narrative with a solid story. The drama remained low key, but was well played. Solid cinematography by Shu Chou added to Zheng's simple narrative. Nothing was cleaned up for this film as it presented a real and very gritty poverty of much of rural China, but unlike the last generation of filmmakers, showing real China does not mean showing China in a bad light. All of the characters are never-do-well folk and they live in poverty but you feel that they are all lovable in their own way and doing the best they can. It is be interesting to see how this young movie maker matures and influences the voice of the new wave of independent film makers from China. Director: Zhang Meng Writer: Zhang Meng Producers: Kwak Jae-Young, Choi Gwang-Suk, Jessica Kam Cinematographer: Shu Chou World Premiere: October 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)


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