Shanghai Dreams (Qing hong) [2005] • China

This is one of those Chinese films about things Chinese. In this case the underlying subject matter is the Third Front, where families were sent from the cities to live and work in the countryside in case the Soviet Union invaded China and clobbered its cities. The main interest here, for me, is this historical angle. China has pulled off a number of wacky full-on country-wide social experiments and I found it interesting to become acquainted with this particular one. Imagine for yourself if you are a big city dweller that you are persuaded (or coerced) by your government to move your family to the sticks. You'd probably dream every day of moving back to the city but the reality is that the dream becomes more and more remote as time goes by. You'd try to think about what's best for your children, but they might have different aspirations. All of this is explored in Shanghai Dreams.

The film takes place in the early eighties which means certain seventies western fashion trends were just filtering in and the director captures some of these with a sad hilarity. The "dance party" scene is priceless. Consider the film more educational than emotional. Big complaint: Gao Yuanyuan, so good in Season of Good Rain, is too old for her character and, honestly, doesn't seem to have honed her acting chops just yet.

Director: Wang Xiaoshuai
Starring: Yuanyuan Gao


No comments:

Post a Comment