So Long, My Son
- 3h 5min
Two married couples adjust to the vast social and economic changes taking place in China from the 1980s to the present.Two married couples adjust to the vast social and economic changes taking place in China from the 1980s to the present.Two married couples adjust to the vast social and economic changes taking place in China from the 1980s to the present.
"So long my son" is the perfect sequel to "Lifetimes" (1994, Zhang Yimou). "Lifetimes" covers de period 1940 - 1970 in Chinese history and "So long my son" the period 1980 up till now. In "Lifetimes" the culrurel revolution is the most defining event, in "So long my son" it is the one child policy.
In "Lifetimes" the story is told in chronological order. "So long my son" jumps back and forth in time. Together with the many characters "So long my son" asks from his viewers that they keep paying attention. The one who does so is richly rewarded for this. Moreover the peculiar chronological order is in my opinion less artificial than in for example "Memento" (2000, Christoher Nolan). Some events in the film have such an emotional "gravity" that it is just natural that they disrupt the normal chronological order.
"So long my son" is in some ways critical to Chinese society. Apart from the one child policy and the damage it has done it shows the growing gap between rich and poor. The critisism mainly concerns however policies started by Deng Xiaoping. The widening of the distance between rich and poor is after all an indirect consequence of the open door policy (mixed state ruled and market economy) that was introduced in 1978.
"So long my son" says nothing about the surveillance state that Xi Jinping is building at the moment. Long it was thought that a more market oriented economy would lead by itself to a more liberal political system. This did not happen, and one can call that "The Chinese paradox". Now we have a smaller "Chinese paradox" in the movie industry, where the surveillance state does not preclude the already mentioned Chinese new wave.
- Aug 14, 2019