When they are evicted from their apartment in a provincial city in Northern China, a young bar singer and her two male friends rent rooms from a retired opera singer in Peking. The ... See full summary »
Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China). A year ... See full summary »
When Song Qi stumbles upon her boyfriend's affair with her best friend, her life quickly starts falling apart and she is subsequently drawn into a quicksand of revenge and murder. Though ... See full summary »
At a South Korean university most students are busy having a good time. A 28 y.o. and his horny friends are always getting into hilarious situations. He likes a much younger, pretty girl but she likes someone else.
Four friends come up with an unusual idea to make some money and have fun doing it. For a small fee, they will impersonate and act out any character role for their customers. In the course ... See full summary »
Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »
Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.
Sara involved in an investigation and her editor afraid of offending powerful politicians and businessmen, against it. Sara exiles herself to Thailand. There She meets child prostitute Dok-my and Sara becomes haunted by her memories.
A group of close friends who attend a private school all have a debilitating crush on the sunny star pupil, Shen Jiayi. The only member of the group who claims not to is Ke Jingteng, but he ends up loving her as well.
Lin Dong and Wang Mei are a childless couple in Beijing, wealthy, approaching middle age. Lin owns a foot-massage parlor. One afternoon he rapes one of his workers, Liu Pingguo, who has nearly passed out from drinking alcohol with a friend. Part of the assault is witnessed by Liu's husband, An Kun, a window washer. He's angry with the boss and with his wife, and he seeks compensation. Lin's wife counsels him and joins in revenge. Then, Liu realizes she's pregnant and a set of emotional calculations ensues: Lin wants to buy the child, Wang agrees but has conditions, An Kun goes back and forth and barely contains his anger; Liu withdraws. The baby comes. Can anything be sorted out?Written by
What happens to a collectivist, traditional society after it is traumatized by two extreme social experiments within a period of half a century dehumanizing communism and equally alienating rampant materialism? Perhaps the best film to come out of mainland China in a decade, Yu Li's Ping Guo is both a scathing social commentary on the state of present day China and a moving human drama. The film, as well as its characters, looks like Beijing: Grey, polluted, crowded and confused. Acting is uniformly excellent. Bingbing Fan, the stunning young actress with morning-after eyes, is superb in the title role as the all-too-human Ping Guo. As the story unfolds and the humanity of the other three leads begin to rise above their greed and apathy, Ping finds her inner strength. The ending, which should be predictable, comes as a touching surprise.
Others have commented enough on the story. It is best to walk into this film without knowing too much about it. If you are a frequent visitor to China or an observer of its mind-blowing ascent, the film will have more to say to you. However, both the story and the characters are universal. Even a passing knowledge of that fascinating society is sufficient to enjoy this minor masterpiece, although you might miss its many subtle ironies.
Chinese authorities banned the film from being shown in China. They also banned its producers from working in the industry for two years. The decision, which is almost an unofficial award, won't stop those who want to watch it.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this