The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng) (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng) (1993)

The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng) (1993)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng) Photos

Movie Info

This film documents the turbulent and often life-threatening years of China's Cultural Revolution through the eyes of one family, positing the necessity of perseverance in the face of intense adversity.


Lu Liping
as Chen Shujuan
Liping Lu
as Chen Shujuan
Quanxin Pu
as Lin Shaolong
Li Xuejian
as Li Guodong
Chen Xiaomen
as Tietou as a teenager
Ping Zhong
as Chen Shusheng
Quanzhong Chu
as Chen Shuyan
Zhang Hong
as Zhu Ying
Yi Tian
as Tietou as an Infant
Wenyao Zhang
as Tietou as a child
Xiaoman Chen
as Tietou as a Teenager
Tian Yi
as Tietou as an infant
Liu Yanjin
as Shujuan's Mother
Li Bin
as Granny
Zhong Lu
as Mrs. Lan
Zhang Lu
as Mrs. Lan
Donglin Guo
as Liu Yunwei
Wu Shumin
as Street Committee Officer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

The power of his film comes from its resolutely human focus.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

It is surprising that this film got out of the repressive clutches of China. Lu Liping gave a tremendous portrayal of motherhood.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Blue Kite (Lan feng zheng)

The film is a gently biting, transporting portrait of unspoken truth and innocence lost. The undeniable authenticity of it leaves a mark.

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On paper communism must have seemed like the socio-economical equality that the Chinese people had been denied by a century of humiliation from feudal states and foreign powers ruling from abroad. Karl Marx viewed communism as the final stage in humanity; society without class, state, or oppression. Ironically, communist nations have historically been authoritarian states that view even suggestion as a form of subversion. In "The Blue Kite" Chairman Mao Zedong's communist utopia is measured against one nuclear family in Beijing, opening in 1953, whose youngest male member narrates the film -- from beyond? -- his adolescence marked by three distinct periods in Red China's formative years (Anti-Rightist Movement, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution). These three periods are split into three chapters, which coincide with the three men who are married to the boy's mother beginning with his biological father. By the end of "The Blue Kite" all three men will die from direct or indirect effects of Mao's aggressive, paranoid brand of Agrarian Socialism. "The Blue Kite" is a paragon of a slow burn. Fifth Generation filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang takes his time establishing the atmosphere of early '50s Beijing and the characters who live in and around it that are happy for the things they have in life: food, clothing, shelter, and one another. Suffice to say, slowly, but surely, as government policies become greyer the hope once shared by the family gradually dims. "The Blue Kite," to no surprise, was censored by the Chinese government upon completion in 1993 and Tian banned from filmmaking for nearly a decade. Audiences in need of a faster, more melodramatic telling of the same ground covered in "The Blue Kite" should consult "To Live" (released the following year to the same domestic consequence) by Tian's Fifth Generation peer Zhang Yimou. Both films have since gone on to wide international acclaim.

Adam Laidig
Adam Laidig

Chinese movie The Blue Kite was the story of Tietou, a boy born in Beijing in 1953. He narrated the movie following him and his family through the turbulent times in China in the beginning of The Cultural Revolution.The movie focused on the family and how they were affected by the political changes that time.I must say my knowledge of Chinese history lacked and so I was confused by what was happening to the family members. The backbone of the movie was the relationship between Tietou and his mother, and their courage in facing hard times. What seemed like safe behavior at one time was consider a cause for arrest at others. This may have been one of the main points, but I did not understand the reasons.The acting was at it finest and real, the ending will rip your heart out.

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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