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The Blue Kite
The Blue Kite
Actors: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen, Liping Lü, Quanxin Pu
Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2003     2hr 20min

Tietous parents both loyal commusits soon learn that even the most innocent critcisms can be misinterpreted by the party. Over the next 15 years tietou observes the advers effects of party policy on various members of his ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen, Liping Lü, Quanxin Pu
Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Creators: Yong Hou, Lengleng Qian, Guiping Luo, Yongping Cheng, Xiao Mao
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/14/2003
Original Release Date: 03/25/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 03/25/1994
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 20min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Cantonese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A great Example of the new wave of Chinese film making
kuroneko1 | Istanbul Turkey | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blue Kite is truly a great example of the new chinese cinema that gathered the attention from all over the world. First of all it is very realistic, very honest and very touching. Director manages to melt this 3 different emotion so well with the great acting and a well written story. Story starts with a baby's birth in early Mao era china and slowly continues its journey in China's political history of 50's and 60's. In this movie we witness a family's struggle to keep up with the times against all political unstabilities of those days. A mother's struggle to grow her child after loosing 2 husbands and other misfortunes that fell on her and her family is extrmely well portrayed and acting is well executed by the actors. Camera captures verything as real and sometimes like a historical documentary that is set in a family's circle. Overall Blue Kite is a brilliant film and a good referance point of the new Chinese cinema. Check it out."
The Blue Kite - The Hope
H. Wang | Santa Clara, CA USA | 07/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As most other people have commented, the film is about a tragic story of common Chinese people under Mao's communism rule. I will focus more on my thoughts about why the film is named "The Blue Kite" as it seems have little relationship with the topic of the film, as especially why there are so many scenes of the blue kite stuck on trees.

The story started when Tietou's parents got married and a bunch of children chasing a blue kite but it is stuck on the top of tree. One child tries to fetch it by climbing over the roof. Adults come out and warn the children and one says "I will get a new one for you for sure". This scene is certainly the happiest moment in the film as people are cheerful. The historic background is that China just had communism revolution and most people believed it would bring prosperity and democracy. Common people are cheerful at that time.

As Anti-Rightist political movement came and Tietou's family is shattered by political accusations, soon there was widespread famine in China but eventually people survived and once again Tietou believed that his kite can fly. People are more hopeful if not cheerful that 10 years ago. People still believe in the system. And finally Tietou's mother remarried a high-ranking party official and things seem to get better.

And then cultural revolution started, no one could escape the political accusation and Tietou's stepfather became a target of struggle. Finally Tietou lying on the ground, beated up by Red Guards, watching the kite broken in the wind, listless on the treetop. And finally I realized that the kite stands for Hope, people's hope for a better life.

The kite was stuck several times (apparently due to mistake or accident, certainly having political implication), and Chinese people were forgetful of these events and simply hoping things can get better and despite the apparent tragedies, people's hope is not shattered as the blue kite is still intact. People were actually willing to cooperate with all sorts of political movements and hope all the tragedies were caused by themselves. But eventually when cultural revolution broke out and people are brutally beated by Red Guards, hope is shattered, at least in the mind and eyes of Tietou as he saw the broken kite. People are not longer fasinated by political movements and blls**t any more.

The film is certainly bleaker than a similar one called "To Live". It is certainly understandable since different people endured different harshness under Mao's rule and some are totally disillusioned by Mao's communism and own tragedies, some actually cherish life more and get more hopeful.

But this certainly is not a documentary since it only uses the political events as background. It is valueable to be part of the learning of modern China as it depicts the impact on many people at Mao's rule and that period of history greatly shapes how modern Chinese people think and behave in many implicit ways."
joysblack | Boston, MA | 04/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I strongly disagree with James J. J. Janis' review on The Blue Kyte. An effective film doesn't mean that it is a two hour movie that covers everything about the subject, but a two hour movie that opens your minds up to the subject. It'd leave you thinking and wondering. It'd make you want to find out more, asking why and how. Personally, I was very moved by the movie. I too came to the movie with some background knowledge of the topic, but I did not watch the movie thinking that I learned nothing from it. Even though it somewhat echoed a book that I recently read, Son of the Revolution, I still feel like I left the film understanding more and wanting to find out even more. However, I have to acknowledge the I do believe that people who can understand Mandarin would appreaciate the movie a bit more than those that don't. Because the subtitles sometimes skips or mistranslates some important phrases. Yes, he might be right that there are scenes that can be cut out to make the film at a reasonable length, but for what? To match Holleywood filmmaking standards? How can you cut any realistic scenes from a movie that is to tell the story. What and who is to determine that only certain details of the peasants' life tell the Chinese communist story and others are just simply unrelavent? Overall, I give this movie a 5 star rating. Because I cannot find another movie that shows more truth about the China under Mao's influence in the late 50's and 60's more than this one particular film."
Excellent example of how fear rules in a dictatorship
H. Wang | 10/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fear rules when the party can denounce anyone at anytime for voicing opinions or even thinking that what the government does isn't right. A great coming of age movie with strong political overtones. The acting is excellent and you really feel for the young protagonist. This is a must see for all chinese film fans. I really enjoyed the subtle way that the viewer is pulled into the film. At each turn we almost want to shout to the actors "Don't speak up or they'll haul you away to the camps!" This really says how the film puts you in the position of "what would I do if I didn't live in a free society." A very real look at how a repressive government can destroy lives and prevent creativity and economic prosperity. A good companion to this film is the Russian production of "The Thief", also an enjoyable coming of age flick. I wonder how the reviewer from Moscow didn't get it. May be this will help. Freedom includes the right to say whatever you want about a government and try to make changes within the system without fear of reprisals. (Especially being sent to internment camps or being beaten to death.) Does that simplify it for you."