Sandstorm (2009)




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Movie Info

He Tianying is a mid-level Chinese police officer. For 12 days and nights, he and his wife have been trapped in their home during a massive sandstorm covering a large area of China. His wife is running out of life-sustaining medicine, their young daughter is missing in the storm, electricity and phone communication have been cut off, and their food and water are running out. As He Tianying cares for his dying wife, in this isolation and confinement, his conscience starts to emerge. As a policeman, he has been involved in the vicious persecution of common Chinese citizens who follow the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. In a series of flashbacks, he painfully recalls one particular Falun Gong practitioner whom he had been attempting to force to renounce her beliefs. Under intense pressure from his supervisor, He Tianying is pushed to betray his conscience and persecute this innocent woman in order to protect his position. Refusing to submit, the woman is eventually tortured to death, as he watches on a surveillance monitor in the police station. This particular death severely shakes his soul. As He Tianying consumes the last of his food and water, he is visited in a dream by an apparition of his daughter who helps guide him toward deeper truths and hope.


Critic Reviews for Sandstorm

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3)

At best, it's a perfunctory narrative, complete with title cards that clunkily hit the same bullet points that might appear on one of those rally fliers.

Sep 9, 2009 | Full Review…

Has a static, playlike tone exacerbated by stilted performances and meager production values.

Sep 4, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/5

What could have been a riveting thriller about a guilt-riddled cop cracking up instead becomes a series of monster-versus-saint confrontations and some seriously hammy advocacy.

Sep 2, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A missed opportunity...A sporadically provocative, contrived and uneven dramatic thriller that lacks emotional resonance and insight while leaving the viewer feeling ultimately underwhelmed.

Sep 7, 2009 | Rating: 5.25/10 | Full Review…

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