To Live (Huo zhe) Reviews

  • Jan 30, 2020

    If the movie made my tear up, if the movie made my throat choke, and if the movie kept me thinking about for a whole week then it deserves a 6/5. We must always honor the victims and learn from history's past mistakes.

    If the movie made my tear up, if the movie made my throat choke, and if the movie kept me thinking about for a whole week then it deserves a 6/5. We must always honor the victims and learn from history's past mistakes.

  • Jan 02, 2018

    To Live is a sprawling family epic spanning decades, but never feeling reductive. It depicts a striking and human view of the horrors of socialism and the frightening reality of left-wing mob rule, where anything you say can be misconstrued and you can be put up against a wall for any imagined reason. Beautiful and charming movie overall, despite the tragic events the family suffers.

    To Live is a sprawling family epic spanning decades, but never feeling reductive. It depicts a striking and human view of the horrors of socialism and the frightening reality of left-wing mob rule, where anything you say can be misconstrued and you can be put up against a wall for any imagined reason. Beautiful and charming movie overall, despite the tragic events the family suffers.

  • Feb 11, 2017

    Epic history of 20th century China. If you don't know much about recent Chinese history, this is a good place to get an overview. This film actually had tears welling up for me, something that rarely happens!

    Epic history of 20th century China. If you don't know much about recent Chinese history, this is a good place to get an overview. This film actually had tears welling up for me, something that rarely happens!

  • May 22, 2016

    Interesting movie that gives a glimpse of what life was like in Maoist China. Li Gong plays the wife of a family that lives through the Communist revolution in 1949 to the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

    Interesting movie that gives a glimpse of what life was like in Maoist China. Li Gong plays the wife of a family that lives through the Communist revolution in 1949 to the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

  • May 04, 2016

    The best Chinese film, also a true masterpiece!

    The best Chinese film, also a true masterpiece!

  • May 02, 2016

    One of the BEST Chinese Movies i have ever seen. All the ICS rolled in to one. Very romantic and very traumatic, very dramatic. Seeing how a Family struggled from being cheated of their place in their culture to the cultural revolution in all of it's horrors to living through it with the well meaning stupid revolutionaries. What a very great story of three generations living through those changes and surviving.

    One of the BEST Chinese Movies i have ever seen. All the ICS rolled in to one. Very romantic and very traumatic, very dramatic. Seeing how a Family struggled from being cheated of their place in their culture to the cultural revolution in all of it's horrors to living through it with the well meaning stupid revolutionaries. What a very great story of three generations living through those changes and surviving.

  • Apr 20, 2016

    To Live was well worth Zhang and Li's two-year ban on future collaborations due to its simple story line that both captures and encompasses the most profound realities of life during arguably the greatest controversial times in Chinese history. Zhang weaves a brilliant tale following a meek, impoverished husband and wife as they walk their committed way through the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s whereupon enduring the hidden cruelties and misconceptions of communism: sacrificing belongings, death of their young son in a work accident, and the death of their daughter during child labor without proper medical care. Although Ge You and Gong Li point their heavy laden and calloused fingers at the initial transgressors responsible for the deaths of their children, Zhang causes us to ponder through their story the simplest and most profound realities of Chinese life at this point in time. Perhaps after all they are the victims fallen prey to the truly evil monster of communism that will take absolutely everything from you-including your loved ones when you think cannot give anymore; Communism replies, "Oh yes, you in fact can." Nevertheless, Zhang and Li are able to transcend politics at the closing, drawing the audience in closer to the sheer tenacity of ordinary people in the midst of chaos. Overall, the movie was touching, thought provoking, and realistically depicting a minor glimpse into the horror many families likely experienced during the ten years of terror. I imagine the movie sparked backlash and embarrassment, however brought a breath of fresh air by acknowledging the wrongdoings of Mao and through exposure of the truths of communism; an ideology such as this is never as it is portrayed to be. Despite the slew of tragedies and sadness that ensued, the steadfast husband and wife stand as a symbol of undying perseverance that, at the end of the day and through it all, it is worthwhile to live. What a message of hope and testimony this must have been to the Chinese left in ruins unable to see the sunshine found right behind the clouds that it is never to late to live.

    To Live was well worth Zhang and Li's two-year ban on future collaborations due to its simple story line that both captures and encompasses the most profound realities of life during arguably the greatest controversial times in Chinese history. Zhang weaves a brilliant tale following a meek, impoverished husband and wife as they walk their committed way through the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s whereupon enduring the hidden cruelties and misconceptions of communism: sacrificing belongings, death of their young son in a work accident, and the death of their daughter during child labor without proper medical care. Although Ge You and Gong Li point their heavy laden and calloused fingers at the initial transgressors responsible for the deaths of their children, Zhang causes us to ponder through their story the simplest and most profound realities of Chinese life at this point in time. Perhaps after all they are the victims fallen prey to the truly evil monster of communism that will take absolutely everything from you-including your loved ones when you think cannot give anymore; Communism replies, "Oh yes, you in fact can." Nevertheless, Zhang and Li are able to transcend politics at the closing, drawing the audience in closer to the sheer tenacity of ordinary people in the midst of chaos. Overall, the movie was touching, thought provoking, and realistically depicting a minor glimpse into the horror many families likely experienced during the ten years of terror. I imagine the movie sparked backlash and embarrassment, however brought a breath of fresh air by acknowledging the wrongdoings of Mao and through exposure of the truths of communism; an ideology such as this is never as it is portrayed to be. Despite the slew of tragedies and sadness that ensued, the steadfast husband and wife stand as a symbol of undying perseverance that, at the end of the day and through it all, it is worthwhile to live. What a message of hope and testimony this must have been to the Chinese left in ruins unable to see the sunshine found right behind the clouds that it is never to late to live.

  • Dec 24, 2015

    This movie is sheer brilliance. There is no mawkish sentimentality, no epiphanies or grand heroics. Yet, it moves in a profound manner, by revealing in small doses, the quiet strength and resilience of the characters through straightforward story telling. A must watch.

    This movie is sheer brilliance. There is no mawkish sentimentality, no epiphanies or grand heroics. Yet, it moves in a profound manner, by revealing in small doses, the quiet strength and resilience of the characters through straightforward story telling. A must watch.

  • Oct 21, 2015

    Absolutely touching film that highlights the struggles of citizens who live during the transitional times of an empire rich in history.

    Absolutely touching film that highlights the struggles of citizens who live during the transitional times of an empire rich in history.

  • May 20, 2015

    Incredible movie. Also a brilliant crash course on modern Chinese history.

    Incredible movie. Also a brilliant crash course on modern Chinese history.