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In Tangshan, the truck driver Da Qiang, his wife Yuan Ni and their twins Fang Da, their son, and Fang Deng, their daughter, are a happy simple family. On 27 July 1976, a devastating earthquake destroys Tangshan, and Da Qiang dies while trying to rescue his children from their apartment. When a collapsed beam traps Fang Da and Fang Deng, Yuan Ni is forced to decide between saving her son or daughter and she chooses Fang Da. However, her daughter Fang Deng overhears her mother's choice and miraculously survives. She is rescued by a soldier and adopted by Mr. Wang and his wife with the name Wang Deng. Thirty-two years later, after an earthquake in China, Wang Deng, now married to a Canadian lawyer and living in Vancouver with her daughter, travels to China and voluntarily joins the rescue team. By chance she meets Fang Da and she learns the drama of Yuan Ni through all those years. The family is finally reunited at Yuan Ni's home, where bitterness is exposed and resolved.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In consideration of the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011, the Japanese distributor canceled the planned release of the film later that month. The film which depicted the 1976 Tangshan earthquake was eventually released in the country in March 2015 in dozens of theaters, as opposed to hundreds it was planned for 4 years earlier. See more »
When Fang Da brought his girlfriend home to visit his mother, he was seen opening the door with his left arm, when it's already been established that he lost his left arm from the earthquake. See more »
Daqiang, Fang Deng, don't mind me being annoying. Every year when burning paper offerings, we've been talking to you both. We've moved. If you want to come back, don't go the wrong way, ok? Our alleyway is next to the railway school. At the first row of houses, turn left. The first one is our home. Remember that! Where we used to live, they're building a department mall. So we can't move back there.
Mom, dad and elder sis have already been dead for ten years. How could they still come back? I ...
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Afterhshock - it leaves you with the aftertaste of a masterpiece
Aftershock is one of those movies where you really feel the experience and journey of all your characters for the length of its time and really connect with the characters. Even those who don't understand Chinese (myself included) will connect with the human story and its wonderful drama, not to mention some amazing visual effects at the beginning.
I'm not going to go into the plot of the film but it is essentially a very real human family drama that deals with the pain of continuing to live with guilt and having to restore one's life after a tragedy. It may sound familiar but the beauty of Aftershock is that its emotional core is something it never shies away from. You see and feel the journey of all three central characters and how a natural disaster can shape our destinies and change our perspectives on ourselves and those around us.
While you can sort of see the plot unfolding before it gets there in the end, it is essentially what you want. I really cared about these characters so anything less than what you would expect would have been even more harrowing. But the resolution which seems to solve everything yet still leaves an emptiness is remarkable.
This is a film not to be missed. I was almost in tears by the end of the film - it has been one of the most captivating films I have seen in a long time and is a remarkable piece of cinema. Not to be missed.
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