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The Blue Kite

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The Blue Kite (1993)

140 min - Drama, Foreign - 12 September 1993
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On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, loud-speaker announcements, visits from the neighborhood committee. Shaolong dies in a reform camp; a close family friend, who protects Shujuan and her son partly out of guilt for lying to authorities about Shaolong, succumbs to malnutrition; a confrontation with the Red Guard leads to injury, imprisonment and death. Shujuan's love for Tietou sustains her, and the child's blue kite embodies hope: "I can make another for you," says Tietou's dad; by the end, Tietou promises this to a small child.

Director:  Tian Zhuangzhuang
Writers:  Xiao Mao

Photos

Storyline

On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, loud-speaker announcements, visits from the neighborhood committee. Shaolong dies in a reform camp; a close family friend, who protects Shujuan and her son partly out of guilt for lying to authorities about Shaolong, succumbs to malnutrition; a confrontation with the Red Guard leads to injury, imprisonment and death. Shujuan's love for Tietou sustains her, and the child's blue kite embodies hope: "I can make another for you," says Tietou's dad; by the end, Tietou promises this to a small child.


Collections: Tian Zhuangzhuang

Genres: Drama, Foreign

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China Hong Kong
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  12 September 1993

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies:  Beijing Film Studio

Technical Specs

Runtime:  2 h 20 min

On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry.

A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born.

The Blue Kite (蓝风筝; Lán fēngzheng) is a 1993 drama film directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang. Though banned by the Chinese government upon its completion (along with a ten-year ban on filmmaking imposed on Tian), the film soon found a receptive international audience. Along with Zhang Yimou’s To Live and Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine, The Blue Kite serves as one of the quintessential examples of China’s Fifth Generation filmmaking, and in particular reveals the impact the various political movements, including Anti-Rightist Movement and Cultural Revolution, had upon directors who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s.

The film won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and Best Film at the Hawaii International Film Festival, both in 1993.

Plot

The story is told from the perspective of a young boy (铁头, Tietou, literally meaning ‘iron head’) growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Beijing. Three episodes – Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution – show the family members evolving, e.g. from the real father, the “loving patriarch,” to the protective but unemotional stepfather. [wikipedia]