Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To Live (1994)

I just don't understand how a human being could watch this film and not be completely blown away by it. I realize that there is no accounting for taste, but you would have to be lacking curiosity about this planet's history and the human condition to an absurd degree in order not to appreciate this masterpiece. Hero was a lot of fun, but I usually find Zhang Yimou's non-martial arts films a lot more interesting, and this one is my favorite of all. Gong Li's performance is beautiful as the wife and mother who wishes for a "quiet life", which is made impossible by many things including the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution. To Live evoked many emotions for me, but when it was over I just felt happy that films this good get made from time to time.

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