7.2/10
1,983
17 user 11 critic

Yellow Earth (1984)

Huang tu di (original title)
| Drama, History, Music | 1988 (USA)
'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns... See full summary »

Director:

Kaige Chen

Writers:

Kaige Chen, Lan Ke (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A violin prodigy and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son's success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Yun Tang, Peiqi Liu, Hong Chen
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1930s, Wu Qionghua was a housemaid of Nan-ba-tian, a cruel warlord of a village in Hainan Island, China. Often abused by her master, Qionghua was finally rescued by Hong Changqing, ... See full summary »

Director: Jin Xie
Stars: Qiang Chen, Niu Tie, Xin-Gang Wang
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A biographical account of Mei Lanfang, China's greatest opera star.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leon Lai, Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A blind man's master told him that after he has broken 1000 strings on his Banjo, he can open the Banjo to get a script for his eyes. After 60 years he broke the 1000th string...

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Zhongyuan Liu, Lei Huang, Qing Xu
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Rina Takeda plays the role of a female ninja named Kisaragi who attempts to rescue a group of women being held captive to become toys for men. The film is set sometime in the Sengoku period... See full summary »

Director: Seiji Chiba
Stars: Rina Takeda, Mickey Koga, Masanori Mimoto
Owls' Castle (1999)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

As the great military commander Nobunaga Oda was consolidating his power across Japan, one of his actions was to wipe out a clan of assassins, killing every man, woman and child he found in... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Kiichi Nakai, Mayu Tsuruta, Riona Hazuki
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Aka Kage, Aoi Kage and Asuka are trio of ninjas sent to perform dangerous secret missions for their master. Although Aka and Aoi are both in love with Asuka, the friendship built from their... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Nakano
Stars: Masanobu Andô, Megumi Okina, Kumiko Asô
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

This story is set during the Edo ages in Japan. On a rainy night, Kotono confronts the samurais who have killed her father. The samurai attack her one by one, but she manages to withstand ... See full summary »

Director: Gô Ohara
Stars: Minami Tsukui, Shigeru Kanai, Nao Nagasawa
Hibiscus Town (1987)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Love, humiliation and politics play out in a distant village of China during the cultural revolution.

Director: Jin Xie
Stars: Wen Jiang, Linian Liu, Xiaoqing Liu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This is a classic early Japanese Ninja movie. The Iga ninjas are a dying breed as Toyotomis rule allows Japan to experience some peace. Juzo, an Iga ninja who had vowed revenge for the ... See full synopsis »

Director: Eiichi Kudô
Stars: Ryûtarô Ôtomo, Minoru Ôki, Hizuru Takachiho
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

In a time of war, when occupation turns to genocide, one woman choose resistance over death and takes on the empire of Japan.

Director: Peng Zhang Li
Stars: Hu Ling Meng, Peng Zhang Li, Jeremy Marr Williams
Red Sorghum (1987)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a leprous winery owner in 1930s China dies a few days after his arranged marriage, his young widow is forced to run the winery to make a living while contending with bandits, her drunkard lover, and the invading Japanese army.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Wen Jiang, Rujun Teng
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Xueqi Wang ... Gu Quing - The Soldier (as Xueyin Wang)
Bai Xue Bai Xue ... Cuiqiao - The Girl
Quiang Liu Quiang Liu ... Hanhan - The Boy
Tuo Tan Tuo Tan ... The Father
Edit

Storyline

'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns that the happy songs he was sent to collect do not exist; the songs he finds are about hardship and suffering. He returns to the army, but promises to come back for the young girl, Cuiqiao, who has been spell-bound by his talk of the freedom women have under communist rule and who wants to join the Communist Army. Written by Ronald Aiken <aikenrd@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Huang Tudi See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Guangxi Film Studio See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was filmed near Yan'An, which is considered the motherland of the Chinese cultural revolution. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Speaks a universal language
26 May 2003 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Yellow Earth by Chen Kai-ge (Farewell My Concubine, Life on a String) was the first film of the so-called fifth generation of filmmakers who introduced a new aesthetic and social awareness to Chinese cinema. It is set just before World War II in Shaanxi province in Northern China near the Yellow River, an area referred to as gian shan wan he (thousands of hills and ten folds more gullies). Based on Ke Lai's novel, "Echo in the Deep Valley", the film shows the struggle of the peasants in the area known for its unyielding harshness and the folk traditions they drew on to express their anguish. As the film begins, cinematographer Zhang Yimou creates a feeling of desolation with panoramic shots of the vast landscape as a soldier from the Communist Eighth Route Army, Gu Qing (Wang Xueyin), walks over the barren hills to a small village. He says he is there to collect folk songs for the army to use so that "the people will know why they are suffering, why their women are beaten, and why they should rise up".

Comrade Gu stays with a poor family that includes 47-year old widowed father (Tan Tuo), his 13-year old daughter Cuiqiao (Xue Bai), and almost mute son Hanhan (Liu Quiang). Rather than relying on traditional narrative to convey the film's message, Kai ge uses long static shots and songs of the people to express mood and tone. The father has become embittered with his life of constant deprivation and sings "Life is hard for seasonal workers. They are hired in January, dismissed in October". Conditions are tough and the farmers pray for rain to alleviate the drought but there is no rain. At a wedding, the serving of wooden fish figures covered with sauce underscores the lack of adequate food. The film also dramatizes the sorry condition of women, showing how they had to carry heavy buckets of water on their backs for miles, and how they were forced into arranged marriages at a very young age.

Gu is seemingly confident of the fight he is waging. He lets the family know that in the South, there are no longer any arranged marriages and tells Cuiqiao about women who cut their hair, fight against the Japanese, and can read and write. She hears about her older sister's unhappy marriage and does not want to endure the same fate. "Of all us poor folk," she sings, "girls are the saddest." Cuiqiao is infatuated with Gu and wants to leave home and join the Army 200 miles away in Yanan. She knows that if she stays she will be forced to marry an older man in an arranged ceremony. When Gu leaves to return to camp, he promises to return in April. Promises alone, however, cannot change Cuiqiao's growing feeling of entrapment or the terrible consequences that follow. In its heartbreaking portrayal of people caught in lives of "quiet desperation" that even Communist ideas or marching songs cannot redeem, Yellow Earth speaks a universal language.


24 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed