7.7/10
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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:

Xiao Mao
Reviews
9 wins & 1 nomination. 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

 
somber, depressing and well-made
29 November 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Due to the subject matter, it was impossible to make this a happy movie. The counter-revolutions that followed the ascendancy of the Chinese Communist government were brutal and senseless--destructive just for the sake of being destructive. So naturally, this isn't a "feel good" movie. I liked how honest the movie was in giving a no holds barred look at this period of time--stretching from about 1953 to 1968.

The negatives about the movie really depend on your frame of reference. For the Chinese audience, much of what was occurring on screen would be easy to follow and keeping track of who is who isn't a problem. However, for Western audiences, this can be quite a chore. I had an easier time than most because I am a history teacher and was acquainted with what was occurring--but the average viewer will most likely get lost from time to time. And, unfortunately, MOST Chinese haven't even gotten the chance to view it as it was banned by their government when it premiered in the early 1990s! So, apart from those Chinese people living in Taiwan or elsewhere abroad, the audience may be rather limited. Because of this, I would love to see the movie along with a documentary explaining the time and events--especially because ignorance about this traumatic time is partly due to the Chinese government's attempts in the past to hide the counter-revolution's excesses.

FYI--although NOT made clear in the movie, the scene where the people were out killing sparrows needs some explanation. Chairman Mao ordered EVERYONE across the nation to beat drums and make a huge racket in order to terrify the birds and keep them flying until they exhausted themselves to death. Perhaps billions of these birds were killed in an attempt to increase crop production (aparently the birds were "capitalist reactionaries" or at least enemies of the state). However, the little grain the birds consumed was NOT a real problem but the insects that the birds ate were. So, as a result of the destruction of the birds, bug populations SKYROCKETED and the crops were decimated. That is why several scenes later people are complaining that there were 3 years of famine.

Also, it seemed to me that it was implied that the reason the one lady quit the army (where she was an actress for propaganda plays) was because she was expected to "put out" for officers. She chose to quit instead and shortly afterwards she was sent to a "re-education camp" as punishment for this.


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