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Lan Yu By Stanley Kwan

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Aleida Rojas
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Lan Yu By Stanley Kwan

This is a film about a "country boy" in need of money who is willing to sell his body in order to survive in the big city as a student. The film takes place in 1988 and plays out some of the major events of that year but in a very subtle manner. The film does a very good job showing how "communist" china is not really what they say they are. Chen Hangdong, is a very rich and powerful man who comes from a very powerful family. Meanwhile, Lan Yu is a very poor young man from the countryside. The two worlds are exposed and the film director shows that China is far from a real communist society. The social inequalities that are shown in this film proves that China never accomplished its communist ideals. But the film does prove how even rich individuals such as Chen Hangdong, have to comply with the government rules that prohibits same sex unions. Handong knows that in order for him to rertain his status in society, he must get married and have a child. This prompts him to sacrifice the love of his life, Lan Yu, and obey party rules. I loved this film, but because of its Rating (rated R), I would not be able to show it in class. There is one part, min 35, when Hangdong talks about his father's death and his inability to cry for his own father. This part of the film can be useful in the classroom. Hangdong says that when Mao died, he cried and he wept for his death but somehow he cannot find the tears to grieve for his own father. This is the impact of indoctrination that the communist party was able to instill on its young generation.  I really enjoyed watching this film. I honestly feel bad for all the people who have to hide their love and have to hide who they are in life. It is so sad that there are still so many people in this world who cannot live their lives and have the freedom to show their love because this would threatened their lives.