Superlative new film from China directed by Yimou Zhang. Screenplay by Jingzhi Zou based on a novel by Geling Yan. (JLH: 4.5/5. RBM 4.5/5.)
Li Gong and Daoming Chen star as an educated couple trapped by Mao’s Cultural Revolution. She is a teacher and he is a professor, and they live in a small comfortable apartment filled with books. Then “Lu Yanshi” (Daoming Chen) is sent to a labor camp for reeducation, leaving “Feng Wanyu” (Li Gong) to raise their daughter alone.
Years go by, and daughter “Dan Dan” (Huiwen Zhang) is so thoroughly indoctrinated that she betrays her father when he manages to escape. Finally, the historical era of the Cultural Revolution ends and Lu is released. Expecting reconciliation, the reunion with his family is bittersweet.
Even Rich agrees this is a first-rate tear-jerker… and sometimes that’s a good thing.