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Coming Home by Zhang Yimou

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Coming Home by Zhang Yimou

This love story set in and after the Cultural Revolution in China shows how a mother, father, and daughter struggle to stay together as a family. I watched the whole movie, and then started watching it again with my third grade students. It is a very good way to give them visuals to support their comprehension of vocabulary and topics we cover about China. It is also a good introduction to (hearing and seeing) Chinese, with subtitles. I don't know that I will watch the whole movie with my students, but I don't recall there being anything inappropriate. I just won't talk in depth about why the mother hates Mr. Fang (rape - but we might talk a little bit about how he was hitting her with the ladle, if we get to the ladle scene), So far, we have talked about Mao Zedong, Communism (slightly), how people can be imprisoned even if they are not bad people, Red Guard/soldiers in the ballet scene, and we will continue to talk as we watch. Third graders enjoy more intellectual books, movies, and discussions than we give them credit for! They're amazing.

I may write more about this if we finish the movie, if any other interesting ideas for projects or writing come up because of it.