Skip to main content


China, 2000 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Zhang Yimou

Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou - a 'Fifth Generation' master of Chinese cinema whose films include Raise the Red Lantern and Red Sorghum - has delivered a gentle comedy of manners and morals.

The lead protagonist, middle-aged Zhao, is onto his eighteenth attempt to find a dating agency wife. His latest conquest mistakenly believes he is wealthy, and Zhao sets out to make his fortune. With the aid of best friend and sidekick Li, the two men spruce up an abandoned bus, transforming it into a hotel for courting couples. Zhao's prospective bride talks him into giving a job to her blind stepdaughter, and after a mock interview - with Li in the guise of the hotel manger's assistant - the girl 'gets the job'. Only one catch: the authorities have taken away Zhao's 'Happy Time Hotel'.

A well-paced plot and snappy performances make for a positively irresistible 'now get out of that one' comedy. Filled with heart and warmth, this Berlin and Pusan Film Festival charmer touches on the way private fictions can take on their own emotional truth.

Zhang Yimou (born in Xian, China, 1951) made his directorial debut in 1988 with Red Sorghum, which won the Golden Bear for Best Picture at the Berlin Film Festival. Other films include Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Shanghai Triad (1995), Not One Less (1998) and The Road Home (2000).

See also...


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 »


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 ... More »


Veteran director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Not One Less) brings us a story of youthful passion amid the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution of 1970s China. ... With her father a political ... More »


Zhang Yimou has followed up his delirious Red Sorghum (a 1988 Festival highlight) with another quintessentially Chinese tale of desire and its traps. ... Ju Dou (played by luminous Gong Li, Zhang's ... More »


Last year Jia Zhang-Ke captivated MIFF audiences with Platform, a politically charged epic concerning a troupe of young performers in rural Shanxi province. The young Chinese filmmaker's third ... More »


A modern-day taxi driver leads a second life as a would be Casanova. From the opening scene, where he poses for wedding photos with his bride to be, we watch through flashbacks as events unfold. The ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director