Li Gong

  • Yimou Zhang – Gui lai AKA Coming Home [+Extras] (2014)

    2011-2020ChinaDramaFifth Generation Chinese CinemaYimou Zhang

    Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.Read More »

  • Shuqin Huang – Hua Hun aka A Soul Haunted by Painting (1995)

    1991-2000AsianChinaDramaFifth Generation Chinese CinemaShuqin Huang

    Based on the true story of a Chinese painter, Pan Yuliang (Gong Li), whose work was celebrated in Paris yet rejected at home. At fifteen years old, she was sold into prostitution. Her life changes when she marries a high official. Through her husband, she finds expression in western painting, and furthers her studies in Paris. Although highly respected in Paris, it wasn’t until after her death that she received the acceptance at home she so desperately sought. The film is directed by Huang Shuqin, a woman director famous for highlighting the influence of tradition on gender issues.Read More »

  • Yimou Zhang – Hong gao liang AKA Red Sorghum [91min edit] (1988)

    1981-1990ArthouseChinaDramaFifth Generation Chinese CinemaYimou Zhang


    Celebrated Mainland filmmaker Zhang Yimou brings his inimitable touch to Red Sorghum, a sumptuous drama set during 1930s China, just prior to the Japanese occupation. Jiu’er (Gong Li) is a young bride arranged to marry the leprous owner of a sorghum winery. But the leper dies, and Jiu’er takes over the winery, along with her lover (Jiang Wen), a burly rogue with a natural, rough charisma. Their rural lives are filled with struggle and even joy, but the invasion of the Japanese brings tragedy and blood to their doorsteps. Told in glorious shades of red, Red Sorghum is quintessential Zhang Yimou, and uses setting, cinematography, and stunning imagery to create characters and mood that are both iconic and recognizable. Gong Li and Jiang Wen both turn in revelatory performances. As both an anti-war film and a portrait of pre-Communist Chinese life, Red Sorghum is a compelling, powerful achievement from a true master of cinema.Read More »

  • Yimou Zhang – Da hong deng long gao gao gua aka Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

    1991-2000ArthouseChinaDramaYimou Zhang


    March 20, 1992
    Review/Film; Dissension in the Ranks of a Household’s 4 Wives
    By Janet Maslin, New York Times

    Songlian (Gong Li), the college-educated beauty who arrives at a feudal manor house at the outset of
    Zhang Yimou’s “Raise the Red Lantern,” insists on carrying her own suitcase, which is virtually the
    last act of independence she will be permitted during the course of the story. Forced by her stepmother
    into what is essentially the life of a concubine, Songlian has agreed to become the fourth wife of a
    feudal patriarch, a man so regal that each of his wives presides over her own separate home.Read More »

  • Fengliang Yang & Yimou Zhang – Ju Dou (1990)

    DramaArthouseChinaFengliang YangFifth Generation Chinese CinemaYimou Zhang

    A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy.Read More »

  • Yimou Zhang – Gui lai AKA Coming Home (2014)

    2011-2020ChinaDramaFifth Generation Chinese CinemaYimou Zhang


    The story is adapted from the novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi (simplified Chinese: 陆犯焉识; traditional Chinese: 陸犯焉識) written by Yan Geling. Lu Yanshi had been a professor before being sent to the labour camp (laogai, literally “reform through labor”) during the Cultural Revolution. He escapes from the labour camp in faraway northwest Xining to make his way back to his long-missed wife Feng Wanyu and daughter Dandan. Dandan is a teenage ballerina, and is prevented from playing the lead role due to her father’s outlaw status. So when she stumbles across her father trying to hide in their apartment building to meet her mother, she reveals his presence to the police, and the police are therefore waiting to arrest him when he tries to meet his wife. Lu is captured, his wife is injured in the scuffle, and Dandan is awarded a supporting role in the ballet. After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Lu comes home to find his family broken: his wife suffers from amnesia resulting from her injury, and she blames Dandan for having reported her father, and meanwhile Dandan has given up ballet and works in a textile factory.Read More »

  • Yimou Zhang – Huozhe AKA To Live (1994)

    1991-2000AsianChinaDramaFifth Generation Chinese CinemaYimou Zhang

    Roger Ebert wrote:
    To Live is a simple title, but it conceals a universe. The film follows the life of one
    family in China, from the heady days of gambling dens in the 1940s to the austere
    hardship of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. And through all of their fierce struggles
    with fate, all of the political twists and turns they endure, their hope is basically one
    summed up by the heroine, a wife who loses wealth and position and children, and
    who says, “All I ask is a quiet life together.” The movie has been directed by Zhang
    Yimou, the leading Chinese filmmaker right now (although this film offended Beijing and
    earned him a two-year ban from filmmaking). It stars his wife, Gong Li, the leading
    Chinese actress (likewise banned). Together their credits include Ju Dou, Raise the Red
    Lantern and The Story of Qui Ju. Like them it follows the fate of a strong woman, but
    also this time a strong man; somehow they stick together through incredible hardships.Read More »

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