20 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.


Zhuangzhuang Tian


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




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


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>

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Did You Know?


The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »


Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of 1994 (1994) See more »


The Crow Song
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User Reviews

As Good as The Horse Thief - Blue Kite
25 August 2019 | by arthur_taferoSee all my reviews

This film is up there with the best of them; equal to The Horse Thief and the King of Masks , my other two favorite Chinese films. These films are generally superior to Hollywood films in every respect except bod office receipts; and that is an important exception. Movies are generally made for money, and this one did not make a lot of money. You can pretty much mark that up to massive Western ignorance of good Chinese cinema. Very few, if any, films about China illustrate the initiation of collectivism in the early days of the CCP. Then, without effort, the film glides to the elimination of private property and businesses, and then on to Hundred Flowers Campaign, which, to put it in simple terms for uninitiated Westerners, is like someone asking you for your honest opinion, and then putting you in jail after you give it. People who differed with the CCP during this period were known as rightests and counter-revolutionaries. In reality, the vast majority of people who rendered opinions, were merely rendering their opinions. For this, they were sent to work farms, prisons, and other places far away from home. This impacted on the most sacred part of Chinese tradition; the family. Unbelievably, the upheaval got worse with the Great Leap Forward, which was more like a great leap up and down without going anywhere. Needlessly killing sparrows for some obscure reason, and tryin to make steel from ordinary household items that contained only fragments of iron. It was as if an idiot was in charge of the country giving idiotic orders. After 20 years of chaos and labeling people things they were not even remotely guilty of, things actually got worse; The Cultural Revolution caused three times as many deaths as the Jewish Holocaust in Europe, yet, in the West, only one of a hundred Westerners knows anything about it. What could be worse than stating that schools and books were useless? Leaving young gangs roving the streets to commit horrendous crimes. Replacing all parts of society's leaders with inexperienced youth. Brilliant. Hospitals struggling with doctors and nurses and replacing them with clueless students, who allowed millions to die because they didnt know what to do. No education, health care or business was tolerated. Brilliant. All this ended with Deng Xiaopeng in 1978, and now you know why he ran over the students in Tiananmen Square in 1989. No more Cultural Revolutions would be tolerated in China. No more student takeovers. China had learned its lesson, but the West condemned Tiananmen Square because they were totally ignorant of Chinese History. The film shows all of these events up to 1968, and does it with the greatest of ease. Great directing and cast.

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China | Hong Kong



Release Date:

25 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De blauwe vlieger See more »


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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