Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Huang Lu, Yang Youan
Director: Li Yang
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
BASED ON HORRIFIC TRUE EVENTS — Li Yang, the award-winning Blind Shaft director and (master of cinematic tension - Screen International), raises the stakes in Blind Mountain, a (resolutely tough minded, beautifully crafted ... more »
Guo Wu | 11/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching this film will be a challenge because of its candid portral of poverty, desire,intrigue,and ignorance, and it shows an aspect of contemporary Chinese life that you will never see in the films of Zhang Yimou. Yes. This is Li Yang,a director who captures the darkest side of China and expose it,but here you can still see that people are not born evil even when are doing evil things...go watch it."
A remarkable film
Phillip Royer | San Francisco | 10/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bai Xuemei, recently graduated from college, is unwittingly sold, not by her family but by her friends, to a villager deep in the bowels of mountainous rural China ... in the 1990s! This is not a documentary. It's almost a typical horror film pacing through a Texas Chainsaw Massacre style suffocating terror without any blood, but there's psychological and physical abuse, including rape--father and mother hold Bai Xuemei down while her purchaser rapes her. Ouch!
China is a vast expanse and this film's cinematography captures that space wonderfully. Bai Xuemei is so far up in the mountains it is simply too far away for her to run to safety.
Lu Huang who plays Bai Xuemei is the only professional actor in the film. The rest of the cast, from the shopkeeper to the Village Chief, are actual villagers. When the police arrive to make a rescue and the whole village gangs up on them demanding the girl repay the 7,000 they paid for her if she is to return home, it rings with a frightening authenticity. I watched this film feeling that with 5 minutes left to go she would be rescued despite everything suggesting otherwise.
It's not that kind of film. Blind Mountain is an essay on the collision of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture. It's not pedantic, nor is it belittling to the realities of the culture at its source, but it's hard not to see it that way, especially through 21st-century, western eyes. The film does a remarkable job of showing that it's not a matter of simply enforcing contemporary law. It's much deeper and difficult than that."
Frustrating beyond belief.
Blitzkrieg | Outer Space | 05/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film was excellent for over half its length, until two things happened. One, when she gets caught in a town far from the village, because a bus driver decides that a cigarette is payment enough for allowing a man to board the bus and physically remove someone against their will. Yeah right! Everyone else demands money for any type of help, but the bus driver will take just a cigarette? The fact that he would even stop for a bunch of country yokels who aren't looking to pay for a ride seems unrealistic to begin with. It is a major contrivance that creates a path leading to an ending with no resolution. Which is the second gripe I have. The police have guns but don't use them when being threatened? What?! That is completely counter to the way the Chinese police and country villages have clashed in reality. The villagers are so worried about a visiting inspector giving them a bad report (who cares? it's not like they depend on tourism), but not the government police with guns who are rightfully rescuing a kidnapped girl and who can have them arrested and imprisoned? What the police do at the end will only create more frustration upon the frustration you'll already be feeling at this point of the film. What you'll get for all of your emotionally invested time is nothing, because the writer/director has chosen to not provide you the satisfaction of some type of resolution. I'm not talking about a "satisfactory" resolution, I'm talking any kind of resolution. I get what the filmmaker is doing by ending it the way he did, but by going that route it inflicted great damage to the message of the story. It's not a bad movie by any means; it is well written (mostly), directed, acted and the locations were well chosen. So, if you like being frustrated and enjoy yelling at the movie screen, watch this movie. If you prefer something that will provide a sense of accomplishment at the end I suggest looking elsewhere."
Mary M | 03/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure about the metaphor here, but Blind Mountain surely yields views of Chinese culture which are surprising, brutal, and wondrous. I came away with a real fascination with the story and its execution on film.
The acting is superb...each character seemed to identify with and play his/her part with creative conviction so that the totality has tremendous authenticity. Take note of the brutal son and his equally brutal mother who softens only when her new grandson appears.
There are only a few minor inconsistencies..for example, why would a family send their daughter to college (a daughter is still not valued in Chinese society; surely the family had hopes that an education would allow her to rise) and then turn around and 'sell' her in marriage where they would receive so little in return? And how can law enforcement be so little respected in a society which supposedly respects people in high places?
I wish a Chinese reviewer would comment on the film here. The script seemed sound and it would be nice to know if the translation is too.
The scenery is magnificent and evocative. A definite 4, bordering on 5 star movie! This is the way culture-commentary is true art!"