杏花三月天 | The Story of Xinghua

The Story of Xinghua

This Chinese melodrama presents an allegory tinged with feminism with it’s portrayal of life and free enterprise in a modern, liberalized Chinese mountain village. Wanglai is the shady town grocer who steals stones from the Great Wall to sell as souvenirs. His neighbor Fulin is nothing like him. Fulin is sensitive, educated and spiritual. He makes his living planting saplings. Wanglai’s store-bought bride Xinghua cannot bear him children; he therefore, frequently batters her then cheats upon her. In the gentle Fulin Xinghua finds a soul-mate. Fulin too, is drawn to her and shyly tells her so. The two passionately consummate their love during a rainstorm. Xinghua gets pregnant and wants to divorce her cruel husband. Fulin becomes uneasy. Though he is more liberal than Wanglai, he is still bound by tradition. When Wanglai discovers he has been cuckolded he ruins Fulin’s plantation and beats Fulin and then Xinghua mercilessly. He wants her child regardless of the father, but she destroys him by pointing out that he, not she, is the infertile one.

Directed by Li Yin | Starring : Wenli Jiang, Guoli Zhang, Shaojun Tian, Haiyan Zhang, Xingli Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival

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菊豆 | Ju Dou

Ju Dou

A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Baotian Li, Wei Li, Zhang Yi, Xingli Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival