China

Xiaogang Feng – Fang hua AKA Youth (2017)

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Synopsis:
A look at the lives of members of a Military Cultural Troupe in the 1970s.

Review:
Mixing graceful dance scenes with gruesome battle sequences, Youth presents a rose-tinted view of China’s Cultural Revolution and war with Vietnam, but its narrative about the loss of innocence of its young characters is fascinating

The seismic social and political changes in 1970s and ’80s China form the backdrop to director Feng Xiaogang’s ( I Am Not Madame Bovary ) sprawling tale of youthful longings, life-altering tragedies and enduring regrets, adapted by Chinese author Yan Geling from her semi-autobiographical novel.

Abruptly pulled from a September release in China before the Communist Party gathered for its national congress, Youth probably touches a nerve with its depiction of the Cultural Revolution’s devastating impact on ordinary families and of the horrors of the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese war.
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Yonggang Wu – Shen nu AKA The Goddess (1934)

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Quote:
Ruan Lingyu, one of the most famous stars of early Chinese cinema, gives a devastating performance as an unnamed goddess an ironic euphemism for a prostitute in this profoundly moving but rarely seen classic of world cinema. A tragic tale of shame and maternal sacrifice, Ruan stars as a mother desperate to provide for her young son and forced to take brutal vengeance on her pimp. It is a profoundly moving drama, all the poignant by the fact that its star committed suicide at the age of 24, a year after the film’s release. Read More »

Bing Wang – Mrs. Fang (2017)

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Synopsis
Fang Xiu Ying is sixty-seven years old and suffers from Alzheimer’s, and yet she slowly understands that her life is coming to an end. Taking place in a quiet village in southern China, Fang Xiu Ying deals with the feelings of a person nearing death, as well as the lives of her relatives and neighbors who gather around her to say their final goodbyes. Read More »

Yuan Zhang – Mama (1991)

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Synopsis:
The young mother, who had been abandoned by her husband, had to support her son named Dongdong, and had a terrible epilepsy when he was six years old, causing brain damage, and the 13-year-old son had no improvement. Perseverably believe that Dongdong can cure, and try to use a variety of ways to wake up his son’s memory of childhood. Her efforts made her fall into great feelings of contradiction and the pressure of life, not only to her colleagues caused trouble, but also to her suitors and ex-husband caused trouble.Liang Dan in the work and care of the mentally handicapped son between Dongdong feel physically and mentally exhausted. Someday, Dongdong disappeared and epilepsy occurs, then he was wrapped in cloth and accidentally died. Read More »

Zhangke Jia – Xiao Wu AKA Pickpocket (1997)

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Quote:
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn’t invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past? Read More »

Xiong zaixia – Yi Ge Ren De Zi Mu aka Zen for Subtitle (2017)

Synopsis
What does subtitle translation mean in my eyes? I have devoted my youth and effort of 4 years of campus life and 2 years of work life. When I have given up translating subtitle, I want to look back to and remember such a bygone by documentary.
  Subtitle is equal to public: By this documentary I want to show how a cinephile makes a link with film and makes effect to more cinephile in such a special situation in China. This documentary also displays a tip of the iceberg of the cinephile cultural history in China.
  Subtitle is equal to privacy: I hope to experience the progress of subtitle translation again, in order to cast my ambition and burden in the old days. I want to say goodbye to that ego with subtitle translation and move forwards to that ego with indie-documentary direction. I want to search more possibilities to the films. Read More »

Zhangke Jia – Shan he gu ren AKA Mountains May Depart (2015)

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Quote:
The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025. Read More »