Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.
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During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
When a leprous winery owner in 1930s China dies a few days after his arranged marriage, his young widow is forced to run the winery to make a living while contending with bandits, her drunkard lover, and the invading Japanese army.
Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband's return. A stranger alone in the heart of his broken family, Lu Yanshi determines to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife's memory.Written by
The film contains absolutely minimum information about the dark side of the cultural revolution,which the books was all about. If you want to know more about that history, try read some books or some foreign documentaries, because a commercial movie that reveals those will never be released in mainland China and probably wouldn't even be finished, especially from a highly influential director like Zhang.
The brilliant side of Zhang, is that if you know enough about that time period, none of those ugly facts that this movie missed needs to be described. The novel was fictional anyways, it is a reflection and a look at that ugly truth from a narrow but interesting angle. But Zhang didn't want the film to be about that. He chose only the last 20-30 pages of the book, beautifully painted out a love story of that generation, and stopped there.
It is like a rotten apple covered with nice tasty chocolate, you take a tiny bite, you see a little bit of what's under and realize it is bad, but then you still tries carefully licking only the chocolate cover, without touching or even thinking about the ugly inside, and by the time you finish you will still remember mostly the nice tasty part of the story.
If it is the ugly inside you are looking for, if you want to know how bad did it get during that time. Like mentioned earlier, go read the novel or look for other documentaries. Born well after that time period, even I can't bare the pain sometimes when I hear stories of that period. So thank you Zhang, for making some warm memories, and something not too bitter to chew with.
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