A Psychologically Abused Woman in Modern China: A Very Sligh
E. Drake | 03/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without spoiling the film, I'd like to add only slightly to Amazon's "Product Description":
Yanni, the main actress in the movie is living with her extended family who sees her as a waste of a person with little to no future. To everyone's surprise she is accepted to a college in Beijing. She goes, life opens up, the wonders of the world are hers to discover. For those who have visited China's Universities, all the sights are there, particularly those incredibly cramped (with sometimes as many as 7 student) dorm rooms. A wonderful and slightly older delivery man sights her, makes his move and they are in love. Soon Yanni finds out she is pregnant. Not surprisingly, while her lover remains committed, we are slowly taken out of the bright dorm rooms and even the streets of this "New China". The couple move to dwellings underground and we begin to wonder what this delivery man's intentions really are.
This is a powerful feminist movie, where you (man or woman, feminist or non-feminist) would be ready to fight for this woman with every ounce of your human flesh. You will also doubt her choices and scream "Idiot!" a few times at her. But in so doing this, you will surely become all the more aware to what is going on in "Communist China" as a young, hyper-materialistic, and socially aware age group is nearing the age where they will begin to enter the political domain.
The movie is well shot as it is noticeably different in scenery, tone, color and pace from the moment Yanni begins school to the moment we realize she is pregnant.
Like the Criterion Collection, First Run Features is a terrific distributor for those film goers who are more independently and internationally aware. Their special features are not quite up to Criterion standards, however for no other reason than no one else chooses to release these films (from The Global Lens Collection and others) I am thankful for their DVDs. Not to forget, as mostly foreign and independent films, they are also reasonably priced."
Sad but compelling independent film from China
Phillip Royer | San Francisco | 08/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Zhou Xun is one of the most compelling actresses working today and she grabs you right from the start in this film. She plays a young woman whose parents, intellectuals from the previous generation, have abandoned her for the most part, shuffling her off to live in near poverty with her granny and aunt. Then she's accepted into university, raising her class status momentarily, but falls in love with a truck driver, gets pregnant and her life unravels. There's subtle and deep social commentary embracing this extremely sad tale of family, love, and one woman's struggle to survive in modern China. I was very surprised by the script. It's softly brutal."