It explains also why she and Zhang Yimou were banned, and not Ge You. His wife Jiazhen Gong Li wants nothing more to do with him, and from a life of indolence he finds himself selling needles and thread on the street. This can also be considered as a negative effect of communism. During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution periods as seen in the film , the townsfolk are portrayed as people who adhere to Mao Tse Tung and the government policies without question. Nevertheless, despite the unfortunate events that happened in the lives of the characters in the movie, there was still a positive outward looking in the end, which I think is an important attitude in life, no matter how bad things seem to be. In order to be truthful in conveying what does ordinary Chinese people felt during those times- the movie showed not only the disadvantages but also some advantages that communism gives Chinese people.
In addition its explicitness cannot be examined ceteris paribus, for example changing one film from explicit to covert without changes in other elements of the film is unachievable. This period late 1980s to the present also marked the birth of independent or foreign-financed cinema, giving rise to the so-called Sixth Generation. It is also interesting how the distinction between what is personal and what is public has been blurred because of the transition. Although the ending has been criticized as sentimental, the resignation and forced good cheer of Fugui and especially Jiazhen belie a happy ending. Chunsheng pronounced like Chwun-shung is first seen working in the gambling hall where Fugui loses his ancestral home and, because of his gambling habit, his wife and children as well…for awhile. It is exciting to see these new films as they emerge from China.
It is good in a sense that it is really family-oriented and very touching it can make you cry but it is not very original for me. It is her two emotional outbursts at the death of her children that make up the core of the film. It is not as explicit in its critiques and political messages as one expects it to be but it deeply etches in the viewer's brain the heartbreaking images of life and death along with the emotions that come with it. In two magnificent performances, Gong Li carries the story's emotions and Ge You the weight of history. They chose to continue and face all the problems. Little Bun : And after the oxen? In 2002 Yu Hua became the first Chinese writer to win the prestigious James Joyce Foundation Award. By presenting both the good and bad sides of communism, the film does not really offer a stand on whether it is for or anti-communism.
But the argument of Yan Fu and others is that the social philosophy of control, pervasive surveillance, and micro-management from the top down inevitably leads to sweeping reforms that cause enormously destructive disruptions at the scale of individual lives. Considering the accusations to this film as being intended to be an anti-communist propaganda, I think that it is not and if it was it would not be effective. These benefits include the establishment of communal kitchens to promote equality symbolically and practically and job generation e. Nice post, but I think you underestimate Gong Li's role. Also, it should be noted that Fengxia was not born mute, she only became mute because of a fever. Another family loss is caused by an old friend, who vows he owes them a life, and will eventually be called upon for repayment.
Zhang's next directorial work, , in 1992, once again starring Gong Li in the lead role. Going back to the film, the message I get from the film was rather neutral and non-prescriptive. Should they please the masses or impress the world? If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. Everyone shares the pain and glory of one another. Set against four decades of Chinese political turmoil, To Live follows the lives of one couple, Fugui and Jiazhen Ge You and Gong Li , as they struggle to survive their own changing station within the upheaval.
He followed the lives of a family from rich in 1940's to homeless because of gambling debts. Zhang met Yu to discuss the script for Mistake at River's Edge, but they kept bringing up To Live. Continuing his brilliant collaboration with China's best-known actress Gong Li their previous films include and , Zhang weaves an ambitious tapestry of personal and political events, following the struggles of an impoverished husband and wife Ge You, Gong Li from their heyday in the 1940s to the hardships that accompanied the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The two decided to have To Live adapted instead. In 1985, after moving back to his home town of Xi'an, Zhang was engaged as cinematographer and lead actor for director 's upcoming film , which was subsequently released in 1987. We see then that his choices are influenced by the events that have happened around him. Of course, commentary on contemporary Chinese society is fraught with difficulties for anyone operating inside China, which has never in its long history enjoyed freedom of expression.
Things seem to be going well at this point, but tragedy strikes when Fengxia goes to the hospital maternity ward. The film explicitly shows the various transformations that happened in China for four decades. Because of the critical portrayal of the various policies and campaigns made by the communist government in this movie, Zhang Yimou was banned from China and doing films for two years. In fact, the oppressive regime plays an indirect hand in the two key decisions that shapes the eventual fate of his son and daughter taken by Fugui. Can the community public provide a kind of happiness and contentment for the family private that no other group even their own family can provide? Both of these works were nominated for a Hollywood Academy Award in the category of best foreign film released in the U. One completely forgets that one is reading subtitles. This particular approach to the characters makes us easily relate with them.
Can the family really determine the things that will ensure them this happiness or is the community the better decision-maker? Archived from on March 16, 2013. The performances are superb and the starkly beautiful canvas of grays and browns coupled with the requisite reds creates a breathtaking tapestry perfectly suited to this bittersweet film. . He has published three novels, six collections of stories, and three collections of essays. As in Raise the Red Lantern and The Story of Qui Ju director Zhang Yimou meticulously presents a clear-headed view of Chinese life where the destinies of individuals are determined by forces beyond their control. Fugui's wife, Jiazhen Gong Li , begs him to stop gambling, for the sake of their small daughter and the child she is carrying. He returns to his Jeep in a haze, only to see his guard beating Fengxia for breaking the Jeep's windows.
Gong Li was at her best. A beautiful survey of the human costs of China's tumultuous 20th century that is accessible to those who have very little historical background on the events. Despite the precautions taken, To Live did not please the Chinese government censorial authorities: the film was banned, and both Zhang and his leading actress, Gong Li, received two-year bans on further co-productions and on even speaking about their film. That being said, To Live 1994 can be seen as a parody of the socialist propaganda. Coda six years later - 7 minutes.
The film To Live, by Zhang Yimou presents a narrative of the lives of Xu Fugui and Xu Jiazhen, the changes that took place within their society and the consequent transformations that took place within their family and personal sphere. The University of California, San Diego. Indeed, the plot is merely the delivery method for a much deeper message. Cora Agatucci Author of the Novel: Yu Hua b. These are only some of the positive things the movie illustrated about communism.