Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun) (1948)

Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)


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Movie Info

The tone of this 1948 romantic drama, Xiao Cheng zhi Chun, is set by the very title itself. By using the classical "zhi" (pronounced "jr") to indicate that this spring "belongs" to the small town, director Fei Mu exchanges the normal colloquial language for the literary. The heroine Wei Wei (Zhou Yuwen) is married to a VIP landowner who seems to be suffering from severe depression. World War II has just ended and no one would fault him for his morose temperament. But when a charming doctor comes … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
On DVD: May 8, 2007



as Wei Wei

as Dai Li Yan

as Zhang Zhi Chen

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Critic Reviews for Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

Spring is revelatory in a number of ways -- not least in demonstrating how Tian exquisitely refracted a stark contemporary drama through the prism of a double nostalgia.

Full Review… | January 29, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

The crowning achievement of one of China's finest directors, this unique film both reflects and dissects the mood of helpless impotence which afflicted many Chinese in the years after the war.

Full Review… | January 29, 2014
Time Out
Top Critic

The film's emotional complexity lends it a weight that has sustained its influence over the decades.

Full Review… | February 18, 2015
The Skinny

For its concentration of haunting emotion and sheer subtlety of texture, Spring in a Small Town is a masterpiece.

Full Review… | January 14, 2015
The Arts Desk

The unadorned, pre-institutional storytelling makes for a far more compelling viewing than Tian Zhuangzhuang's 2002 glossy remake.

Full Review… | June 23, 2014
Irish Times

Full of subtle erotic tension, the 1948 drama focuses close up on Yuwen (Wei Wei), a frustrated, exquisitely beautiful housewife whose husband Liyan (Shi Yu) is invalided by tuberculosis and the traumatic effects of the Sino-Japanese war.

Full Review… | June 20, 2014
Times [UK]

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