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UNCHARTED RIVER

China, 1983 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Wu Tianming

In the years following the downfall of the Gang of Four, a recurrent theme in Chinese cinema has been the hardships faced by the people during the Cultural Revolution. Uncharted River is more successful than most of its kind in expressing the suffering in very human terms. It also gives a much more in-depth look at those turbulent years. . . It focuses on three loggers as they raft down a river in Hunan province. The beautiful scenery belies their harsh experiences. The oldest, Pan Laowu, has a painful reunion with his former love, from whom he has been separated for 30 years. The middle-aged Zhao Liang has a large family and barely makes ends meet. The youngest, Shi Gu, finds that his fiance has been forced to marry another man. The film is Wu Tianming's second feature, and a. . . fine example of the work of the Xi An Film Studio, of which he is head.

- Derek Malcolm, Paul Fonoroff, London Film Festival

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