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The original release date in mainland China was September 29th, 2017. But the high authority suddenly withdrew this film because of some contents in the film were inappropriate despite the film already passed the censorship. The film had to be pulled out and more than 20 million yuan spent on the promotion were wasted. See more »
A movie either deserved an 8 or a 0 if based upon....
The directing, the acting of all the cast, the camera work...they all deserved an 8, because director Fong is still one of the better Chinese veteran directors who has been continuously gave us some more serious and more matured movies, unlike those ones who could only produce brain-dead farces which now seems to be the main stream Chinese movies titled themselves as "Comedy". If you looked at what Director Fong gave us in the past years, almost, I mean, most of them, were worth watching.
I've watched a documentary about how this film was made before viewing this film, about how Fong worked so hard to make this film more like what that pathetic era in China, a huge compound was built according to the old building structures, and how he painstakingly chose the new generation young actors to play those roles, and how he insisted them to live like those people in that era, to think like those old generation, he even insisted them to wear clothes inside out like those people in that era, he paid so much in details including how those young people really went through in a large group, lived, ate, trained and slept together, making these actors he signed up to be exactly like those people. This was a very very serious production under the insistence and persistence of Fong's movie ethics and philosophy, and indeed, he never gave way to any hardship and difficulty when tried to make this film. The preparation of making this film was about a year long, all the actors lived together with him, trained under his production experts. Yes, if by such point of view, this should deserve a high rating.
But if you look at this film from a different angle, it's completely on the opposite. Because it's an ideological propaganda film under the guidance and instruction of the Party. Because Fong and other more liberal directors were then pressured by the government to produce more political correct films instead of either commercial-wise or personal-wise films. The Party needed the young generation to learn something from the past, about how that generation was so obedient, how simple-minded, how easy and pure to be mouth-fed with the dogma of the Communism, how to follow the Party to anywhere and anytime when the Party required them to do, to think and to live. So Fong produced this film to please the Party and won the nods from the high-up Party leaders.
But Fong was also smart enough to use a flexible movie title to allow the viewers to develop freely with their imagination. "Fang Hua" in Chinese, means the best but short Youth, a duration when people is more creative, more passionate but at the same time, more naive to be fooled and brain washed. "Fang Hua" is part of a Chinese four words idiom, the other two words that hidden behind and follow Fang Hua is "Shu Du", i.e., "Completely Wasted". And indeed, if you look back to that ridiculous era and those 10-year long Culture Revolution, twenty millions Chinese were wasted, dead and buried; all the young people were forced to leave their homes and hometowns to the remote, deserted countryside, to the mountains, to the fields of wildness. Those short and the most precious years of human lives were completely wasted and could never get back or live it again. A generation, young and should be so promising, but totally lost. Fong somehow hoped that his viewers would have the least passion and realization of how precious the so-called "Youth" should be well supported, guided and tutored and should not be wasted like those young people in that era that this film portrayed. He did not just want to give you some nostalgia or melancholy deeply emotional and sentimental journey to the past, he also wanted you to realize how young people should not waste their precious but short period of their lives in vain and be fooled by the Party to willingly and unconsciously poisoned by such big foolish words like "Patriotism", "Unconditional Sacrifice for Your Motherland". So as I've pointed out in the very beginning, if from the ideological and political viewpoint, knowing this film was just for the purpose to please the Party, this film only deserved a 0.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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