Ju Dou (1990)
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A dark, sensual, and visually sumptuous drama, Ju Dou centers on the title character, the third wife of a wealthy silk dyer in 1920s China. Forced into marriage by poverty, Ju Dou is repeatedly mistreated and cruelly disciplined by her husband, Jin-shan, for failing to bear him an heir. Her suffering attracts the sympathy of Jin-shan's younger, kinder nephew, Tian-qing, and the two begin a secret affair that could have tragic consequences. Spanning the course of many years, the film's narrative takes several surprising turns, defying expectations and complicating audience sympathies. None of the film's characters is wholly heroic or evil, allowing all three central performers -- Li Bao-tian as Tian-qing, Li Wei as Jin-shan, and the luminous Gong Li as Ju Dou -- to fashion memorable, complex portrayals. Director Zhang Yimou, a former cinematographer, uses gorgeously saturated images that emphasize his story's elemental nature, which often recalls classical tragedy. Met with controversy in China due to supposed political overtones that worried government officials, Ju Dou received fairer treatment overseas, winning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and numerous festival prizes. … More
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Critic Reviews for Ju Dou
The film appealed to me for two reasons. First, because of its unabashed, lurid melodrama, in which the days are filled with scheming and the nights with passion and violence. Second, because of its visual beauty.
Powerful, poignant, and visually stunning, Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou was deservedly nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
As well as having an eye for the dramatic - such as yards of cloth tumbling from a height or flames licking up a wall - Yimou also has a way of conveying the emotion of a scene with incredible brevity.
Conduzido com segurança por Yimou (ainda em início de carreira), o filme atravessa décadas e conta com um visual rico para narrar uma forte e trágica história de amor.
This is a sumptuous, passionate and bleak look at sexuality and power in China.
Ju Dou is an emotionally fulfilling and viscerally rewarding adult film.
Full of incestuous overtones and punctuated with deaths by fire and water, this gripping melodrama of lust and jealousy is far more Freudian than Marxist; it casts a sultry, James M. Cainish spell.
Audience Reviews for Ju Dou
A tragic love story set against the colorful backdrop of a Chinese dye mill. The fantastic cinematography makes Ju-Dou a treat for the eyes even though the story is heartbreaking and sad. Highly recommended!More
The story is both unpleasant and yet interesting. Few of the characters really connected with me. Ju Dou, becomes the object of sympathy right from the start. Her life is horrible, and even the relationship with Tianqing ultimately strikes me as unsatisfying, because frankly Tianqing was a wimp. The character of Tianqinq comes across as childish and immature and afraid of everything. In a way, the most powerful character was the adolescent Tianbai, Ju Dou's son. He only appears in the last part of the movie, but he comes across as completely hateful and totally unemotional. It all leads up to a tragic and confusing ending.
The love scenes and violence are visual limited, because of Chinese limitations,
I guess, But all in all Ju Dou is a stunning film and worth to watch.
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