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The Film : to Live

In: Film and Music

Submitted By ywakayam
Words 539
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The movie “To Live” directed by Zhang Yimou follows the life of one family in China from the beginning days of gambling dens in the 1940s to the austere hardship of the Cultural Revolution in 1960s. The movie mainly focuses on the character Fugui, who is the husband of the household. He encounters many hardships later on, but he somehow survives. By following his life, the audience receives the message from the movie such that life is hard, but nothing is worse than dying. Throughout the movie the historical background of each era is provided with great detail. Starting with Fugui’s spoiled gambling habit and the loss of all his family’s property in the 1940s to the time when Fugui and his wife, Jiazhen, nurture their grandchildren, Mantou. The movie shows the audience a bit of how Chinese people in that time era lived. Also, the movie depicts the politically important incidents in the civil war era in the 1940s, the “Great Leap Forward” period in the 1950s, and the “Cultural Revolution” period of the 1960s.
The life of Fugui and his family reflects lives of Chinese people in this turbulent period where people experience much hardship and changes, but I believe those hardships and changes give people the true meaning of life and appreciation for their lives. Furthermore, the movie demonstrates how one family is able to survive the politically unstable eras in China. By doing so, the movie did not end as just a movie that criticizes the communism.
My first impression of Fugui was not the best, because he’s a hopeless degenerate, a gambler who loses his home and fortune. I only saw him as a hopeless man, who is spoiled, growing up in a wealthy family. However, after the loss of his family’s possessions due to gambling he regrets it all and tries to survive. Then I started to feel sorry about his situation and felt as if I was in the same life condition as him.…...

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