Sometimes you read a book, listen to a song, or watch a film where the theme speaks to you at the right time. Movies like Fight Club and Before Sunrise were shown to me at a time where I believed the screenwriters were speaking directly to me, if not about. It's surreal when you read Catch-22 and realize that not only are you not alone in your thoughts, but great artists feel the same emotions as us simpleton consumers.
In keeping with the theme of submitting films I've never heard of, which can be a feat considering I am a movie geek, Sam suggested I watch The Road Home, a Chinese film. Taking place in rural Manchurai a man travels home to bury his father, a beloved school teacher in their village. His grieving mother asks her son to follow an old tradition of having the father's body carried from a far off hospital to his home, which is complicated considering the weather and man power needed.
The film then shifts to the early days after the cultural revolution as the son tells the tale of his mother's love for her recently departed husband. Di (the mother) is a young, vibrant 18 year old with nary a cynical thread in her. She meets the new school teacher, a young handsome idealist. Throughout the story Di tries to get the new educator's attention by cooking him meals, walking past the school house while he's instructing, and making many sacrifices to subtly show her longing for him.
They of course finally meet, only to be soon separated when the teacher is sent to the big city for unknown political trouble. Undaunted Di awaits her love in the harsh winter, even risking death to travel to the city for him. Upon hearing the news the teacher sneaks out of the city to see her. They are then separated again for two years with Di anxiously awaiting her love.
This sounds like a very simple movie, but yet taking all of the elements as a whole I haven't seen such a profound love story in years. While the film is not dialogue intensive the acting of it's young heroine is amazing. Every look she gives to her man is honest and beautiful. The scenery in the film is breath taking at times and I loved the music. While most people will find it slow and juvenile I think it's refreshing to see a love story of people not hardened by the sometimes ugliness of this world. There are so many elements of love in this story I don't have the time to list them here. One theme in particular is worth noting; however, and that being patience, a virtue lost amongst my generation. I feel that's why so many people my age fail at love.
Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"A beautifully simple romantic fable set in 1958 China in which the lovers are never seen touching, much less kissing -- yet it can move you to tears." - Lou Lumenick