To Live (Huo zhe) Reviews
Overall, the movie was touching, thought provoking, and realistically depicting a minor glimpse into the horror many families likely experienced during the ten years of terror. I imagine the movie sparked backlash and embarrassment, however brought a breath of fresh air by acknowledging the wrongdoings of Mao and through exposure of the truths of communism; an ideology such as this is never as it is portrayed to be. Despite the slew of tragedies and sadness that ensued, the steadfast husband and wife stand as a symbol of undying perseverance that, at the end of the day and through it all, it is worthwhile to live. What a message of hope and testimony this must have been to the Chinese left in ruins unable to see the sunshine found right behind the clouds that it is never to late to live.
Acted with such precision and realism all characters are believable & heartfelt. Simply the story of a gambler who looses all & gains his life.
Filled with moments of beauty & hope but also tragedy & despair. This film has so much depth & insightful to life itself...it's an impacting film that stays with you.
"Chinese censors objected to the film's commentary about political abuses in China's past, as well as Zhang Yimou's attempts to present the film at several international festivals. As punishment, he was forced to write a formal apology and was not allowed to make another film for two years."
-Mark Deming, Rovi