Life is hard for raftsmen Pan Laowu, Shi Gu, and Zhao Liang. During the Cultural Revolution, they seek work where they can, and spend the rest of the time drinking and brawling. At one stop they learn that district leader Xu, an honest man, has been jailed and nearly persecuted to death. With the help of Pan’s former lover they medicate Xu and move him onto their raft, but encounter a ferocious thunderstorm enroute to safety. River Without Buoys marked the beginning of a second career for actor Li Wei, who had begun acting in films in the 1940s, and also put the formerly obscure Xi’an Film Studio on the PRC cinematic map.
Directed by Tian-Ming Wu | Starring : Wei Li, Yuling Tao, Ronghua Hu, Qingming Tang, Hui-fen Chen | Presented at Hawaii Film Festival