4 user 5 critic

Love for Life (2011)

Mo shu wai zhuan (original title)
Set in a small Chinese village, where an illegal trade in human blood has caused the spread of HIV; two AIDS sufferers surprisingly fall in love with each other and decide to risk everything to pursue their last chance at happiness.


Changwei Gu


Changwei Gu
11 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A biographical account of Mei Lanfang, China's greatest opera star.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leon Lai, Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Over the course of several decades, a deal between the Japanese army and criminals in Shanghai plays out with violence and betrayal.

Director: Er Cheng
Stars: You Ge, Ziyi Zhang, Tadanobu Asano
The Banquet (2006)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, Daniel Wu
Oh My God (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

The movie tells the story of a couple who fervently prayed for a blessing. In answer to their earnest request, the heavens gifted them with a child. From then on, the new family traverses the happy and sad paths of life.

Directors: Min Wei, Nan Wei
Stars: Cheney Chen, Xiaolu Li, Jiang Wen
Forever Young (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

From World War, to revolution and ultimately rebirth, Forever Young is the story of four generations spanning a hundred years of modern Chinese history. Each generation faces its own unique... See full summary »

Director: Fangfang Li
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Xiaoming Huang, Leehom Wang
My Lucky Star (2013)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A woman gets caught up in an international diamond heist which pushes her close to a spy who is trying to save the world.

Director: Dennie Gordon
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Leehom Wang, Terri Kwan
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a ... See full summary »

Director: Ye Lou
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Tôru Nakamura, Ye Liu
Run for Love (2016)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A romantic anthology with five episodes featuring five love stories in Japan, United States, Norway, the Island of Saipan, and the one in Rjukan Norway, where the sun is brought down where the can't shine by large mirrors.

Directors: Qunshu Gao, Hu Guan, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Eddie Peng, Yi Zhang
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In Shanghai, an aging socialite's infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman.

Director: Jin-ho Hur
Stars: Cecilia Cheung, Dong-Gun Jang, Ziyi Zhang
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two ex-lovers work together to win back their lost loves, but not everything goes according to plan.

Director: Eva Jin
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Bingbing Fan, Peter Ho
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

As Spring Festival draws near, a group of villagers come back to their hometown from different big cities, trying to put together their own festival show.

Director: Yibai Zhang
Stars: Christy Chung, Jue Huang, Tian Jing
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young girl finds a mysterious scale belonging to the missing Zodiac Dragon. With the help of the remaining zodiac animals, she sets off on a quest to find the missing dragon, return the scale and restore peace to the Earth.

Directors: Sing-Choong Foo, Betty Tang
Stars: Star Noorbakhsh, Maryevelyn Jones, Maggie Chiang


Credited cast:
Ziyi Zhang ... Shang Qinqin
Aaron Kwok ... Zhao Deyi
Wenli Jiang ... Cook
Zeru Tao Zeru Tao ... Grandpa
Cunxin Pu Cunxin Pu ... Qi Quan
Baoqiang Wang ... Blabber
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jianhua Li Jianhua Li ... Geda
Haiying Sun ... Si Lun


Set in a small Chinese village, where an illegal trade in human blood has caused the spread of HIV; two AIDS sufferers surprisingly fall in love with each other and decide to risk everything to pursue their last chance at happiness.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

aids | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

10 May 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Love for Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (uncensored)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The third entry of Gu's rural trilogy of contemporary Chinese commoners afflicted with unfair destiny
28 April 2016 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

A hallowed cinematographer behind many of the most iconic Chinese contemporary films, Yimou Zhang's RED SORGHUM (1987), JU DOU (1990), Kaige Chen's FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE (1993), Wen Jiang's IN THE HEAT OF THE SUN (1994) and DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP (2000), just to name a few, Gu's third directorial endeavour, LOVE FOR LIFE, which aligns with his two previous films, PEACOCK (2005) and AND THE SPRING COMES (2007), together they loosely construct a "rural" trilogy examining the personal hardship and societal pressure of the ordinary lives after the Culture Revolution.

LOVE FOR LIFE is inspired by the real-life happenings about AIDS villages in the hinterland, where misconducts of blood transfusion can cause an entire village HIV-infected, since selling blood is a common means for those strapped for cash in these outlying and indigent areas. In its pre-title opening, a village schoolboy is succumbed to a poisoned apple and becomes the sporadic voice- over from six feet under, often sounds the death knell for one particular victim, which glazes the ominous story with a surrealistic touch.

The boy himself is a fall guy for his father Qiquan (Pu), who has brought the deadly "heat disease" epidemic upon the village people through his blood-selling business. Qiquan is remorseless for his wrongdoings and infuriated by his son's murder, he refuses to apologise, out of guilt and conscience, Pu's father (Tao) volunteers to take in all the infected to the abandoned school where he administers, including his younger son Deyi (Kwok). A group-living life seems apt for them (deserted by the society and their families), among the worst things can happen are petty larceny and siphoning off the doled-out rice from the government, of course, until, the looming "elephant in the room" overtakes gallows humour.

Deyi is attracted by Qinqin (Zhang), a comely young wife of his relative, who caught the disease just because she is pining for a shampoo which is popular among townsfolk. The film schematically veers from the wretched victim bunch to a torrid "Love in the times of AIDS" affair between these two, who eventually resolve to divorce from their respective spouses (both treat them like plague), and remarry, it is a race against their numbered days, but Gu invites viewers to revel in their carpe diem rollickings with an us-against-the-whole-world vengeance, which ends in the hot vs. cold, conscious vs. unconscious climax, where love overcomes morality.

It is a great comfort that Gu is gallant enough to tackle with a topical and thorny issue under a contemporary background (1990s to be exact). Deep-rooted sexism, inherent weakness, outrageous superstition (a wedding ceremony for dead children), immoral avarice, along with the prejudice against HIV, all pointedly reflected from Gu's prism of storyboards. Being a cinematographer-turned-director, Gu's habitual astuteness of the awe-inspiring rural landscape can be anything but disappointing, and maverick musician Zuoxiaozuzhou's attendant score is distinctly pathos-arousing.

Celebrated Hong Kong singer-cum-actor Aaron Kwok, throws down the gauntlet to play a rustic simpleton, bravely sports a local accent (albeit that Chinese audience are all aware that in real life, his Mandarin is far from perfect, people speak Cantonese in HK by the way), sacrifices his good- looks and discards his metropolitan glamour, admirably evokes both levity and poignancy with accurate propriety. Ziyi Zhang, in a more restrained fashion, attenuates her impetuous pride while accentuates her recalcitrant dignity, one of her career's best so far. Cunxin Pu, who has the same age as his on screen father Zeru Tao (both born in 1953), dazzles with spontaneous vulgarity and an appearance overhaul in his fitful presence, which is a far cry from his trademark positive screen image Chinese audience feels more familiar with. Wenli Jiang, Gu's wife and long-time muse, a naturalistic scene-stealer, enforces the most rip-roaring moment with her pig-riding gimmick.

LOVE FOR LIFE, the story itself has a rich vein of potentiality to mine, instead of skewering the most obvious one, the cause behind these man-made tragedies, Gu's film opts for a safer and artistically compromised ground to compose an ode to love, both physically and spiritually, it is done with significant potency, but a feeling of being short-changed cannot be expelled, regardless of how many times an impassioned Qinqin reads the words on their hard-earned marriage certificate in the ending.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed