Excellent film! Two Thumbs Up!
A wonderful film for middle school and high school. Be warned have some tissues on hand. The story revolves around thirteen year old Xiaochun and his father Liu Cheng. Xiaochun is a violin prodigy. He and his father live in a small rural village in China. His father and the entire village recognize Xiaochun's talents and his father decides to take him to Beijing to perform in a competition.
When they arrive in Beijing they both are amazed at the size of the city and it's modern wonders. Xiaochun gets seperated from his father for awhile where he meets Lili. Lilii is the beautiful heroine of the story who gets involved with wealthy married men to exist. Xiaochun becomes hopelessly infatuated with Lili especially when he finds out she lives in the same neighborhood where he is staying.
Xiaochun and his father reunite and he performs in the competition. He is by far the best in the competition; however, he comes in fifth, His father overhears Professor Jiang say that the prizes always go to those who have the most money. Soon Liu Cheng convinces Professor Jiang to teach Xiaochun. However, Professor Jiang is carrying a lot of emotional baggage. He never cleans his house and he picks up every stray cat he can find. although Xiaochun respects his teacher he is bothered by his lifestyle and his lack of interest towards teaching him.
Meanwhile Liu Cheng is sacrificing much to keep Xiaochun in school. He takes a job delivering lunches. Lili who is trapped in bad relationships in order to survive becomes good friends with Xiaochun. Unknowing that Xiaochun is infatuated with her.
One day Liu Cheng enters a concert hall and hears a young violinist play to a standing ovation. He finds out that her professor is named Professor Yu. Liu Cheng realizes that Professor Jiang can only take Xiaochun so far. He then convinces Professor Yu to teach Xiaochun. Xiaochun is torn between the loyalties between his old teacher. He begins to question his father's decision making creating tension with traditional father and son roles.
Tensions mount even more when Professor Yu begins pitting Xiaochun against his star pupil. Tensions increase further when Professor Yu feels that Liu Cheng is a distraction and ask him to return to his small village for the sake of his son's studies. Liu Cheng agrees to leave on the night of Xiaochun's breakout performance without seeing his son perform.
That is all you get. I don't want to ruin the surprise ending. This film is a coming of age story as well as a father and son drama. It was made be Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige best known for Farewell My Concubine, Temptress Moon, and The Emperor and the Assassin. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I became completely caught up in the characters and twist and turns of the film. Highly recommended for a music class as well as any class that may want to highlight the Chinese conflict with traditional roles and Western influence
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Film Review: Together
Excellent film! Two Thumbs Up!