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To Live

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Anonymous (not verified)
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To Live

I have spent the last 6 weeks watching Chinese films, mainly the oeuvre of Zhang Yimou, for use in my classroom. His pacing is deliberate, shots are lush, and his actors, mostly Gong Li, are very attractive. That said, the stories are narrow and somewhat pinched, I enjoy exquisitely told tiny tales. But that's just me, because I complain a lot about films. My students will have to read subtitles and that mostly tuckers out the little people.

So far the one I feel I can use is a charming film called To Live. I thought it to be a ripping yarn of midcentury China through the civil war and the Cultural Revolution. I was really caught up in the plight Ge You's character especially as he progressed from a dandy gambler to an impoverished puppeteer, all the while as Gong Li maintains an impossible stoicism in the face of the idiotic decrees made by the village cadres. She loses her daughter due to the imbecilic medical practices of the "pure" child doctors of the Cultural Revolution. Quite sad, and easy to follow. So, try this one, and see how fidgety 10th graders react.
edited by mcjones on 1/9/2012
edited by mcjones on 1/16/2012