Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To Live

1994, Mandarin, 124m, Zhang Yimou (director)

Traces the history of post revolutionary China framed around the moving and beautifully enacted travails of an ordinary family with ordinary concerns as any where else. In its vivid and colorful visual narrative it succeeds in demystifying this precedent less tract of history. We see a society in the throes of transformation, and how readily the thought processes and lives of a population can be molded, for better or worse, under the spell of a single charismatic individual. It was a delight to see a Chinese marriage procession, with its brass band, with pictures of the Chairman instead of deities, and how similar it was to ours.

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