16 user 121 critic

Mountains May Depart (2015)

Shan he gu ren (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 30 October 2015 (China)
1:56 | Trailer
The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.


Zhangke Jia (as Jia Zhang-ke)


Zhangke Jia (as Jia Zhang-ke)
25 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Tao Zhao ... Shen Tao (as Zhao Tao)
Yi Zhang ... Zhang Jinsheng (as Zhang Yi)
Jing Dong Liang Jing Dong Liang ... Liang Jangjung aka Liangzi (as Liang Jingdong)
Zijian Dong ... Zhang Daole aka Dollar (as Dong Zijian)
Sylvia Chang ... Mia
Sanming Han ... Liangzi's friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patrick Harvey Patrick Harvey ... Train Passenger
Russell Lambe Russell Lambe ... Golfer
Lu Liu ... Liang's Wife
Min Liu Min Liu
Zishan Rong ... Zhang Daole aka Dollar (Child)
Anna Sasson Anna Sasson ... Travel clerk
Yee Yang Yee Yang ... Travel clerk
Learn more

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China, 1999. Childhood friends Liangzi and Zhang are both in love with Tao, the town beauty. Tao eventually decides to marry the wealthier Zhang. They soon have a son he names Dollar... From China to Australia, the lives, loves, hopes and disillusions of a family over two generations in a society changing at breakneck speed. Written by Ipsith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


French visa # 142283. See more »


The young boy who plays Tao's son in 2014 is also part of the crowd of children that watches her perform at the new year's celebrations in 1999. See more »


Mia: Time doesn't change all things, that is what it has taught me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title appears more than forty minutes after the beginning of the movie. See more »


Take Care
Performed by Sally Yeh
See more »

User Reviews

Like a changing urban landscape, the humans as well!
4 November 2016 | by Reno-RanganSee all my reviews

When everybody around me liked the director's previous film 'A Touch of Sin', I didn't. As a film fanatic, reject such kind of film is not an easy job without giving a proper reason. I thought that was a missed opportunity. I surely like art films, not the boring one like those aimlessly narrated. I really loved some of the scenes there, but here it was completely different. Most importantly, anybody would understand what the film is trying to say without trying too hard.

This is a theme where the China's rise was revealed from the three people's personal life perspective that was categorised to the three generations or the timelines. That's not it, the communism was also highlighted, how it held back the people's freedom. The writer was really smart to smoothly disclosing that to the world. I mean the film never dragged the China's ruling party or its system, but all were told from its character who struggled and if you use your brain, you will get it why.

The narration was divided into three episodes. The first one takes place in the year 1999, in a small town somewhere in the China which is economically backward. The story follows a young woman named Tao, who is caught in a love triangle. But for the practical reason, she has to choose one of them and when she does, the other guy leaves the town with the heartbroken. This is the foundation, that dragged for nearly 40 minutes. Obviously slow, but very realistic approach.

I grew up in the 90s, my country was not much different than what's in this film was shown. So I liked the atmosphere, all those the 90s set, the automobiles, lifestyle, the landscapes of the small towns et cetera taken me back to that time. But the thing is, it was China, society and culturally different. Anyway, it was past and what follows are totally flips the narration, including the perspective.

"You know the hardest thing, about love is caring."

The second episode takes place in the year 2014, which is something like the present. It reveals what's the status of all the main three characters, like where they're economically standing and the personal life struggles. Tao's married life did not go well and her son is around ten years old who visits her from Shanghai. The one who left the town is now returned and battling for his life for some reason.

In the last 15 years, the China significantly changed and still, this entire part is set in the same town which is now economically moved forward. Like the changing urban landscape, how these characters too changed were what focused on this section.

Then comes the final episode where it is now in the year 2025, that takes place somewhere in the Australia. The perspective was changed, the little boy is now in his 20s, seems lost is root. With his behaviour, you would notice that his lack of knowledge about his ancestors. He who has the differences with his father, decides to make his life as he wanted. That is why the parents should take responsibility to teach their children all the good things about their culture and traditions, and to carry on, it's up to them. Because losing one's identity could lead to the failures in the life.

This is the part I liked better. Because it was something like what I encountered in my life. Most of the childhood memories that returns after we're grown-up as the deja vu, like the history repeating itself. Here for pointing out the freedom one to buy a gun was indirectly hit the communism. I mean gun was not a threat, it was just an expressed how it affects people in all the similar circumstances. I meant, what something was hidden brings more eagerness for us to know about it than those are in the out. So forcing something on people is sometime is a bad idea.

All the actors were good, but apart from the slow screenplay, I liked the idea of this film. There are some other similar films, like how different generations behave and now this is among them, yet not the best out of all of them. Very much watchable, only if you are capable of handling slow drag. If you know this director very well or the fan of his works, you will find it a pretty interesting film. I won't recommend it, but I also won't either suggest you to skip it.


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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


China | France | Japan


Chinese | Mandarin | Cantonese | English

Release Date:

30 October 2015 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Mountains May Depart See more »

Filming Locations:

Fenyang, Shanxi, China See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,550, 14 February 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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