7.6/10
2,498
19 user 18 critic

The Blue Kite (1993)

Lan feng zheng (original title)
The lives of a Beijing family throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as they experience the impact of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution.

Director:

Zhuangzhuang Tian

Writer:

Mao Xiao (as Xiao Mao)
Reviews
9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tian Yi Tian Yi ... Tietou as an infant
Wenyao Zhang Wenyao Zhang ... Tietou as a child
Xiaoman Chen Xiaoman Chen ... Tietou as a teenager
Liping Lü ... Chen Shujuan
Cunxin Pu Cunxin Pu ... Lin Shaolong
Xuejian Li ... Li Guodong (Uncle Li)
Baochang Guo Baochang Guo ... 3rd husband
Ping Zong Ping Zong ... Chen Shusheng
Quanzhong Chu Quanzhong Chu ... Chen Shuyan
Xiaoying Song ... Sis
Hong Zhang Hong Zhang ... Zhu Ying
Yanjin Liu Yanjin Liu ... Shujuan's mother
Bin Li Bin Li ... Granny
Lu Zhang Lu Zhang ... Mrs. Lan
Donglin Guo Donglin Guo ... Lin Yunwei
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Storyline

On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, loud-speaker announcements, visits from the neighborhood committee. Shaolong dies in a reform camp; a close family friend, who protects Shujuan and her son partly out of guilt for lying to authorities about Shaolong, succumbs to malnutrition; a confrontation with the Red Guard leads to injury, imprisonment and death. Shujuan's love for Tietou sustains her, and the child's blue kite embodies hope: "I can make another for you," says Tietou's dad; by the end, Tietou promises this to a small child Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

25 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De blauwe vlieger See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$355,974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Soundtracks

The Crow Song
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
There are obstacles to overcome to appreciate this
14 February 2008 | by bandwSee all my reviews

This is the story of Tietou, a boy born in Beijing in 1953. It follows him and his family through the turbulent times in China until Tietou is fifteen. The story plays against the political background of The Rectification Movement, The Great Leap Forward and the beginnings of The Cultural Revolution.

The movie stays closely focused on the family and how it is affected by the political whims of the times. Lacking a knowledge of Chinese history I was often confused by what was happening to family members. The great strength of the movie in focusing on the relationship between Tietou and his mother, and their courage in facing hard times, was also for me a weakness, since I did not understand the political forces behind what was precipitating the events driving their lives. What seemed like safe behavior at one time was deemed as cause for arrest at others. This may have been one of the points being made, but I did not understand the underlying reasons.

Another problem I had was reading the subtitles. If you are not a speed reader, they will often fly by faster than you can read. Many of them stayed on the screen for less than half a second (I counted the frames). Many times I found myself pausing the DVD so I could back it up to read the subtitles. These disruptions obviously diminished my enjoyment of the film.

All that being said, the movie is nicely filmed with a pacing and score that are quite effective. Many scenes linger on everyday details and are punctuated with subtle music. The historical context that does filter through is of interest.

If I spoke Chinese and knew more of the history of that country, I think I would have appreciated this film much more.


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