November 18 – 2:00 PM + 7:30 PM
China, 2014 – Rated PG – 109 minutes – in Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Cast: Gong Li, Chen Daoming, Zhang Huiwen
In the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, an amnesiac woman struggles to regain her memory and reconnect with her long-imprisoned husband, in this enthralling and emotional drama from Chinese master Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero).
Feng Wanyu (played by superstar Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha, Farewell My Concubine) is a teacher whose husband, Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming), falls afoul of the authorities during China’s Cultural Revolution in the early 1970s. He’s sent away for “re-education,” leaving Feng alone with their only daughter, a spoiled ballet student named Dandan (Zhang Huiwen). When Lu escapes and attempts to make his way home, Dandan — who had been denied the leading role in a new production due to her father’s branding as an ideological outcast—commits a heartbreaking betrayal. Years later, when the fractured family has another chance to reunite, tragedy strikes when Feng’s mind begins to fail her, and she refuses to accept her now-liberated husband.
Re-teaming with Zhang after their celebrated collaborations on such classics as Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, and Raise the Red Lantern, the luminous Gong expands her remarkable range even further with her performance as a woman pushed to the brink of mental collapse. For his part, Zhang masterfully balances intimate drama and political allegory within his deceptively simple story, demonstrating once again that his creative fire remains undiminished.
“Filmmaking doesn’t get more traditional or timeless than Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home, a family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval, this ode to the fundamental values that survive even under such dire circumstances has an epic gravity that recalls another great historical romance, Doctor Zhivago.” – Maggie Lee, Variety