2006, Wed, May 10

The Big Road

D: Sun Yu

Sun Yu | The Big Road | © Promo

Sun Yu | The Big Road | © Promo

China 1934, 100 min.

A central work in “left-wing Shanghai cinema” from the 1930s. Six young friends decide to go North to help construct a road vital to the army. “Go North” was a metaphor for the “battle against the Japanese invasion”. They are held captive by landowners co-operating with the Japanese, but succeed in escaping with the help of two fearless girls who work in a canteen. The construction work now can continue, right up until the tragic end. This is a fascinating film, partly because of the very effective song scenes - a novel feature introduced by the emerging talkies - and also because of its cyclical narrative approach, which draws on techniques employed in the Chinese novel.

50 Years of Revolution

In the 1830s and 1940s, the Communist revolution was in full swing. During the 1980s and 1990s, it was the turn of the post-Communist revolution. Two films compare two completely different political identities: the patriotic struggle on the one hand, and the consequences of unbridled economic liberalism on the other.