To Live (Huo zhe) (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

To Live (Huo zhe)1994

To Live (Huo zhe) (1994)



Critic Consensus: To Live (Huo zhe) offers a gut-wrenching overview of Chinese political upheaval through the lens of one family's unforgettable experiences.

To Live (Huo zhe) Photos

Movie Info

This Chinese saga chronicles 30 years in the life of a typical modern family. Their story begins in the 1940's in a tiny northern village. Fugui's wife Jiazhen leaves him when loses the family home while gambling with Long'er. In the late 40's Fugui has become a Nationalist soldier fighting Communists in the civil war. Beside him is longtime friend Chunsheng. Surrounded by death and carnage, Fugui soon grows up. He returns to his village after the war to find it communized. Long'er is executed for being a capitalist. The years pass. Each incident in the movie focuses upon Fugui and the political situation around him.


You Ge
as Fugui
Li Gong
as Jiazhen
Ben Niu
as Town Chief
Guo Tao
as Chunsheng
Ni Dabong
as Long'er
Liu Tianchi
as Adult Fengxia
Deng Fei
as Youqing
Ni Dahong
as Long'er
Zhang Lu
as Teenage Fengxia
Xiao Cong
as Child Fengxia
Dong Fei
as Youqing
Huang Zongluo
as Fugui's Father
Liu Yanjing
as Fugui's Mother
Lian-Yi Li
as Lao Quan
Zhao Yuxiu
as Dr. Wang
Kang Zhang
as Mantou
Liu Renbo
as Puppet Artist
Ding Jianjun
as Puppet Artist
Li Fangping
as Puppet Artist
Li Hong
as Puppet Artist
Wang Danning
as Puppet Artist
Wang Jianming
as Puppet Artist
Wang Yongwei
as Puppet Artist
Su Yan
as Puppet Artist
Zeng Quanbao
as Puppet Artist
Zhang Shaochun
as Puppet Artist
Yang Tongxun
as Puppet Artist
Dong Lifan
as Puppet Artist
Pan Yuejuan
as Puppet Artist
Jia Kangtong
as Puppet Artist
Zhang Zhongliang
as Puppet Artist
Li Wenliang
as Puppet Artist
Xie Liang
as Puppet Artist
Dai Zhongming
as Puppet Artist
Wang Yongguang
as Puppet Artist
Cui Lewen
as Puppet Artist
Chen Shuwen
as Puppet Artist
Huang Xinming
as Puppet Artist
View All

News & Interviews for To Live (Huo zhe)

Critic Reviews for To Live (Huo zhe)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (9)

His film grows progressively in meaning and resonance as it develops. Highly recommended.

April 11, 2019 | Full Review…

A well-crafted but in no way earth-shaking entry in the helmer's oeuvre.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Zhang's purpose is less to show the oppressive iniquities of Mao's era than to evoke the optimistic spirit that allowed people to survive it.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

There is no mistaking the political toughness of this melodrama's message.

May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

It's a good movie from a genuinely gifted filmmaker and no less worthy for not being great.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

"To Live" is a simple title, but it conceals a universe.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for To Live (Huo zhe)

This was really good. Li Gong is recognizable from Hero (she's actually been in a lot of things). The scenes of mourning are painful to watch, because it is so real and honest. If you enjoyed other works by this director, (Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Curse of The Golden Flower being the most famous) you will probably enjoy martial arts, however. This is a moving drama with some interesting history. Well done film.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


[color=red]"To Live" is an emotionally powerful epic about a family living in China from the 1940's to the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's. I felt like this movie gave me the most realistic impression of living under Mao Zedong during this tumultuous period of time.[/color]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

An awesome foreign language movie that I watched in a history class.

Andrew Fillmore
Andrew Fillmore

Super Reviewer

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