Monday, February 05, 2007

Huozhe-To Live (1994)

I've been getting a lot of hits from China the past couple of days, perhaps because some of Sidney Sheldon's 300 million books in print are published in Chinese...

I thought I'd put in a plug for a Chinese film that I got from Netflix, thanks to the recommendation of a cousin by marriage. It's called "Huozhe" or "To Live." It tells the story of China from the Revolution until the Great Leap Forward though the story of one family, based on a novel by Wei Yu and Hua Yu. It stars the beautiful Gong Li and emotional Ge You, directed by Yimou Zhang.

It is sort of like a Sidney Sheldon novel, in its emotional pull. And it's just outstanding, capturing the fear that obviously dominates life in China--as well as the suffering people have endured under a variety of ill-considered schemes. It's the type of film that Hollywood used to make here, but no longer does...Five stars. (More about the picture, here.)