Aftershocks (Tangshan dadizhen) (2010)

Aftershocks (Tangshan dadizhen)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Two natural disasters frame a story of a mother, her children and a painful decision that scars them forever in this grand-scale drama from China. In 1976, Li Yuanni (Xu Fan) is living in the city of Tangshan with her two children, seven year old twins Fang Da and Fang Deng. The family's life is simple but full of joy until a massive earthquake levels the city and leaves a swath of destruction in its wake. Amidst the wreckage, Li Yuanni discovers both Fang Da and Fang Deng are caught under a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 27, 2010
China Film Group - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Aftershocks (Tangshan dadizhen)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Perfect hokum for those who don't mind having their heart strings strummed like a banjo.

Full Review… | November 10, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

The film may be a blunt instrument, but it's rarely maudlin -- the exception being the performance of Mr. Feng's wife, Fan Xu, as the long-suffering mother -- and is, on occasion, quite moving.

Full Review… | November 4, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

[An] involving, well-acted saga of a family torn apart by a devastating earthquake...

Full Review… | October 28, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

Mimics the worst of Hollywood's excesses, pairing gratuitous shock with patriotism and a flood of tear-jerking moments calculated for awards bodies' consideration.

Full Review… | December 1, 2010
Total Film

Aftershock is a gruelling and sombre watch, occasionally over-wrought and melodramatic, yet an absorbing and thought-provoking insight into the consequences of human catastrophe.

Full Review… | November 12, 2010
Daily Express

Audience Reviews for Aftershocks (Tangshan dadizhen)


A rather long, but well done, touching movie based around the 1976 earthquake in Tangshan, China. Incredible story about the decisions a mother had to make in the aftermath, and the decisions each family member makes to pick up their lives, and move forward. I found the changes in the town, attire and vehicles as the decades progressed particularly interesting. The film did a good job of also showing how the rigid Maoist China gradually became more Westernized and materialistic, e.g. bicycles in the 1970's vs. BMW in the 2000's. Good job! (except the one Canadian actor that they could find. He was terrible, but thankfully was only in it for a minute).

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A really heart breaking movie. Performance of each character was really good. Made me sad to tell you the truth.

Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

Tngsh?n Ddzhn (aka "Aftershock" or "Aftershocks"), dedicated to 240,000 victims of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, claims to commemorate the rebirth and restoration of Tangshan. Now if only (presumably) good intentions were quite enough to make a good movie... Aftershock has a script that's not just been-there-seen-it-all one, but also a bit too messy. The movie works neither on personal account of any of the individual characters nor as a whole. Despite being stuffed with heavily emotional sequences, it failed to make me feel sympathetic enough to care for any of the characters, let alone bring a lump in my throat or shed a tear. With all due respect for the victims of the earthquake, this emotional drama (not a docu-drama) doesn't do justice to a movie-viewer. The actors seem competitive, but they could have succeeded in saving the shaky script only that far.

I don't find "Tngsh?n Ddzhn" recommendable enough, but being aware of my taste (which happens to fall in minority more often than not) I won't be shocked if you do. To start with, just look at the critical response it has received. It's not awful; it's just that it fell short of my expectations.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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