Life on a String

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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

An old, blind banjo player (Zhongyuan Liu) was promised as a child that when he broke his thousandth string, his sight would be restored. As the promised cure draws near, he and his apprentice, Shitou (Lei Huang), also blind, diverge in their beliefs on the purpose of music. Qing Xu also stars in writer-director Kaige Chen's heartfelt fable, adapted from the novel by Tiesheng Shi.


Critic Reviews for Life on a String

All Critics (4)

Audience Reviews for Life on a String

Okay but not the best in Chinese film history. Acceptable but not great.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Old blind musician wanders around the Chinese backwaters with young blind disciple in tow. There is a plot.. old musician believes than when he breaks his 1000th string on his instrument (hence the title) he will see again and there's some quite pretty music and some philosophical fortune-cookie musings but really not enough to keep you glued to the screen for 110 minutes. Quite a good film to take up origami to keep you semi-preoccupied during the slow unfolding. .

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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