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King of the Children (1987)

Hai zi wang (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 March 1989 (Sweden)
This film is adapted from the novel of Ah Cheng. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976),

Director:

Kaige Chen

Writers:

Cheng Ah (novel) (as A Cheng), Kaige Chen | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yuan Xie ... Lao Gar
Xuewen Yang Xuewen Yang ... Wang Fu
Shaohua Chen Shaohua Chen ... Headmaster Chen
Caimei Zhang Caimei Zhang ... Laidi
Guoqing Xu Guoqing Xu ... Lao Hei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bo Gao Bo Gao
Changwei Gu Changwei Gu ... Secretary Wu
Jianjun He Jianjun He
Tianxi Jia Tianxi Jia
Gang Le Gang Le ... Cowherd
Haichen Liu Haichen Liu ... Wang Qitong, Wang Fu's Father
Xiaolu Qiang Xiaolu Qiang
Jianjun Su Jianjun Su
Li Tan Li Tan
Tuo Tan Tuo Tan ... Village team-leader
Edit

Storyline

An unschooled young man, one of the countless victims of Mao's Cultural Revolution, is labouring in the countryside when he is suddenly assigned to teach in a near-by village school. Gradually, he finds the confidence to ditch the Maoist textbook and encourage the barely literate kids to write about their own lives and feelings. At the same time, through a series of dream-like meetings with a young cowherd, he begins to sense the possibilities of a life beyond the parameters of traditional education.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

17 March 1989 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

King of the Children See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (International Release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
King of the Children is a masterpiece
13 March 2004 | by mulviSee all my reviews

For viewers who are already familiar with the Cultural Revolution, <<King of the Children>> is a subtle commentary on that era. Chen Kaige uses humour and philosophy to address the issues of the Cultural Revolution, and he creates a space for the adults who suffered during that period and the children who followed them.

Part of what makes this movie a masterpiece is the cinematography. Chen Kaige focuses on the vast landscapes of western China. The imagery reflects on personal and political aspects of Taoism through which the director has processed China's modern history.

For viewers who are not familiar with history, the movie will still have a profound effect. The themes are universal: how do we transmit our knowledge and/or our wisdom to the generation which follows us? How do we balance political problems with personal growth?

Another part of this movie's success is its humour. Chen Kaige portrays irony in the politicking of the state and the lives of the characters. Fans of <<The Dead Poets' Society>> will appreciate the hero's tactics teaching a class of children without books or paper, while the school administrators store stacks of books and papers in their offices.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to better understand the Fifth Generation directors and the challenges of Chinese cinema shortly following the Cultural Revolution.


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