Cultural revolution in the films of Zhang YimouPosted: November 14, 2017
At a time in my life when I had a lot of time and a physical DVD Netflix account I started watching the films of Zhang Yimou.
These movies are great. The plots are crazy, but compelling. There are other ways to tell stories besides the save the cat way.
(save the cat lol there’s a famine killing forty million people!)
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy.
Plus just trying to discern the basic premises the characters assume or the worldview of the movie assumes adds a whole other level
Been thinking about these movies in the context of a much, much, much more minor cultural revolution I perceive in the USA and especially Hollywood/the media, where people are like examining themselves and confessing to their political crimes.
Zhang was born in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Zhang’s father, a dermatologist, had been an officer in the National Revolutionary Army under Chiang Kai-shek during the Chinese Civil War; an uncle, and an elder brother had followed the Nationalist forces to Taiwan after their 1949 defeat. As a result, Zhang faced difficulties in his early life.
During the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, Zhang left his school studies and went to work, first as a farm labourer for 3 years, and later at a cotton textile mill for 7 years in the city of Xianyang. During this time he took up painting and amateur still photography, selling his own blood to buy his first camera.