Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Great story, wonderfully filmed, and Gong Li is brilliant.
Brilliant story, reminded me of some of the great Russian authors who gave us a glimpse into the hearts of peasants and how close-knit the communities are (and have to be). Zhang Yimou's execution was almost perfect--from the first scene he forces the audience to piece together the events, never patronizing us. Its documentary-like shots of everyday Chinese folk combines the realism of Chekhov with the comic absurdity of Gogol. Gong Li's energy was magnetic.
This is a small movie set in present day China (1993). This film is well made by noted Chinese director Yimou Zhang. The story concerns a search for justice. Our heroine, Qiu Ju (Gong Li), is a peasant woman living in a small rural village. There are injuries arising from a fight between her husband and the village chief. Her husband is kicked and beaten by the village chief. He is kicked in the groin and so cannot work or even walk for a period of time.
Qiu Ju goes to seek redress of the illegal attack her husband suffered. She is not satisfied with the solutions various government functionaries propose. She persists in escalating her appeals to hier and hier government entities. The various government reps are shown to be trying to do their jobs in a competent manner. There is an ages-old tradition in China of the people appealing their grievances to the Emperor or central government. Some Chinese still try to make these appeals in present day China.
Much of the appeal of this movie is in the depiction of day-to-day life in a Chinese village. We see brick beds heated by small fireplaces built into their foundations. We see people still traveling by bicycle, two wheel cart, motorized three wheel scooters, by bus, and small private truck. Our heroine is apparently, and repeatedly, given free rides by her fellow countrymen. There is some discussion of the sophisticated city dwellers in contrast to their poorer country cousins. And, there are many other similar depictions. The Wiki write-up states that hidden cameras were used to shoot street scenes for the film. The social contract in China, like much of the East or Asia, is shown as concerned with the close relationship of the individual to his neighbors and village. We can view this in contrast with the American value of rugged individualism. There is a sense of community in small town America. But, the sense of community in Asia is much stronger. This strong sense of community extends into the cities. There, it is manifest in the work place or the apartment complex.
In this movie, when Qiu Ju gets into trouble, the entire village leaps to the rescue. She is carried, by hand, for emergency medical assistance over long distances by a group of village men. I suspect it might take a bit of doing to assemble a similar volunteer rescue group on the neighborhood level in the USA. And, yes, I am aware of publicized rescues after natural disasters in the USA.
Gong Li is the only actor of note. Her considerable beauty is disguised under heavy winter peasant clothing thru out this movie. We only get a little glimpse of her at the very end of the film. This was one of her earliest movies.
The story is mildly interesting. I can recommend the movie for its depiction of daily village life in rural China.
Really nice movie, so well made
I love revenge and/or justice movies, and this movie is hilarious and good and makes me smile. The ending is the best. Some very, VERY good acting. Rent it, for the love of God!
This is not a particularly fantastic movie but it does serves as a good usher into the real facet of Chinese society
in the old china, how is the law works
Another great and masterful tale from Zhang Yimou focusing on the simplicity and yet the complexity of everyday people and the challenges that they rise to.
Zhang Yimou will always be my favorite director.
Full of themes and subtext about the judicial system in China. It's about one woman's quest to get an apology from the Chief after he kicks her husband in the privates. It doesn't have much going on for it, but the ending is poetic and very fitting.