Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ju Dou (1990)

Academy Awards, USA 1991

Best Foreign Language Film

Directed by Yimou Zhang and Fengliang Yang
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(DVD, Artisan)

A man works at his adopted uncle's fabric dyeing business in rural China. One day the uncle brings home his newly purchased wife, young beauty Gong Li. However, he mercilessly beats and tortures her when she is unable to conceive a child. She soon falls in love with the kinder nephew and they begin a sexual relationship. She becomes pregnant but pretends the boy's father is her husband. Still tortured nightly, they consider murdering him, but he becomes paralyzed from the waist down after an accident. They no longer hide their relationship which infuriates him to the point of almost murdering the child, but he realizes he can cause them more pain by befriending him. This goes on for over a decade, before the grown child takes matters into his own hands. Intense, beautifully filmed melodrama, overloaded with symbolism and a calculated plot, but guided by the steady hand of director Zhang.

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