Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

RED SORGHUM

China, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Asian Cinema Showcase)

Director: Zhang Yimou

Former cincmatographer Zhang Yimou makes an impressive directional debut with this lush rural epic based on renowned Shangdong author Mo Yan's short story. Set during the Sino-Japanese war in the barren wilderness of Northern China, it's the simple story of how an offscreen narrator's grandparents came to meet and fall in love.

She, as a young woman, is married off to a leprous old man who is mysteriously murdered Undeterred, the enterprising widow takes on the management of her late husband's distillery, famous for producing a distinctive red wine extracted from the sorghum plant which grows tall and wild in the surrounding fields A relationship is also established between the new manageress and the sedan carrier who has saved her life. All appears to be going productively well until the advent of the Sino Japanese War and the abrupt, bloody appearance of ferocious foreign invaders This splendid concoction of sexual passion, heroism and larger-than-life characters gains added dimension from Gu Changwci's stunning Cinemascope camerawork. In every sense, a grand show, perhaps a great one.

“This film is told as a legend since its mixture of fact and fiction make the plot more enjoyable, it also makes allowances for the more fantastic elements in the narrative.”

“The sadness and joy in the relationships between men and women arc still captivat¬ing to filmgoers At the red sorghum fields at Green Killer's Crossing ' my grandpa" and "my grandma ' burn with passion for each other This film expresses the intensity of their emotions.” - Zhang Yimou

Winner Best Film, 1988 Berlin Film Festival

See also...

HERO

China,Hong Kong, 2004
Hero (Ying Xiong) China/Hong Kong'a grand and magnificent picture... every bit as dazzling and spectacular as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.' -The Hollywood Reporter A visual tour-de-force, Hero is … More »

WHY I AM NOT A PAINTER

Australia, 2004
Why I am not a Painter @ Crossley & Scott One of the highlights of the Festival is photographic exhibition, why I am not painter staged by Hong Kong'based, Australian expatriate cinematographer Chris… More »

peacock

China, 2005
Winner of the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival, [Peacock] is the auspicious directorial debut of Gu Changwei. One of China's most accomplished cinematographers, Gu has worked with such fi… More »

YELLOW EARTH

China, 1984
Director Chen Kaige was only 32 when he made Yellow Earth, his debut feature. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), like many of his contemporaries, Chen had been sent down to the countryside to … More »

THE BIG PARADE

China, 1985
One of the most startling things about The Big Parade is how little its formal and visual qualities resemble Chen's internationally acclaimed debut feature, Yellow Earth. But perhaps the most salient… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.