Magazine article New Internationalist

The Story of Qiu Ju

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Story of Qiu Ju

Article excerpt

Zhang Yimou's latest film is a bold departure from the lush and richly coloured melodrama of such earlier work as Jou Dou (an NI Film of the Year) and Raise the Red Lantern. He eschews exotic spectacle and the rarefied past for a low - key glimpse of contemporary China. Using a hidden camera and a cast that consists almost entirely of non - actors, the director tells the story of one woman's attempt to achieve justice.

Gong Li, Yimou's collaborator and wife, plays Qiu Ju, a young countrywoman expecting her first child. She is a woman with a mission. Her beef is with the local village chief who kicked her husband where it hurts after a careless remark about the chief only having sired daughters. Masculinity is what is at stake here. But it becomes a point of honour which ironically a woman attempts to restore. All Qiu Ju wants is an apology for her husband. It's a quest, though, which leads her a slow dance through Beijing's bureaucratic maze. …

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