Woking Film Club

Film details

16th November 1993

Ju Dou

Director: Fengliang Yang, Yimou Zhang

Japan, China, 1990

Run Time: 95 minutes, Certificate: -,
Genre: Drama, Language: Mandarin


In a change of direction from his earlier elegant, 'dissident' period pieces (Ju Dou , Raise the Red Lantern), internationally established director Zhang has created a contemporary, decidedly modern story. Like his previous films it focusses upon the role of women in China, and also once again utilises the talents of his favourite actress, Gong Li Here she plays a heavily pregnant peasant woman whose husband has been kicked in the balls in an argument with his village chief. Determined to win an apology, she doggedly pursues the matter through the many levels of Chinese bureaucracy'Using a palette of rich reds chains of chilli peppers and matching festive clothes and lanterns - glowing against the snow, the film has a vibrant, fluid beauty. Shooting in the streets with hidden cameras and radio mikes, Zhang plunges his actors into a maelstrom of Chinese life, We see a bashful young couple applying for a marriage licence, a woman sitting on a sofa perched, in its turn, on a rickshaw wobbling gingerly through the crowded streets, posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger jockeying for position alongside Chairman Mao a vivid insight into universal quirks of human behaviour and a remote culture in rapid flux. It's a masterclass in naturalistic film-making' Sheila Johnston, The Independent

Average score 7

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