Last night I rewatched, after quite some time, his uplifting movie To Live, based on the depressing but striking novel by Yu Hua. The movie was banned in China and Zhang Yimou was punished for it by being forbidden to make movies for a while.
Zhang Yimou has some other fine movies, such as The Road Home (which just might make even grown men cry at the end), the visually incredible Hero, the harrowing Not One Less, the creepy Raise The Red Lantern. I am ambivalent about his Curse Of The Golden Flower and about his remake of Blood Simple by the Coen Brothers, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, although there is an incredible noodle making scene in it. (UK Readers can cut and paste the titles into my Amazon UK search box at the bottom of the page).
Anyhoo, To Live has a lot of tragedy in it and reversals of fortune. Part of the lesson, however, is that reversals brings chances “to live”.
It is hard to get some of the new Chinese cinema movies, but they are worth the effort. And, in a way, it was a fitting way to observe our Independence Day.