Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Story of Qiu Ju

Qiu Ju a guan si; Tragicomedy, China, 1992; D: Zhang Yimou, S: Gong Li, Lei Lao Sheng, Ge Zhi Jun, Liu Pei Qi

The pregnant Qiu Ju is transporting her husband in a cart together with his sister. He was namely kicked between the legs by the head of the community because he wanted to plant chili on a land reserved for a farmer. Qiu demands justice and calls the police officer Lee to force the head of the community to apologize. The police forces him to pay 200 Juan, but he throws the money to the ground so that Qiu would duck to pick it up, but she refuses. After that she leaves the village in order to sue him to his superiors and even goes to court, but loses the case. At birth, Qiu bleeds too much so the head of the community helps her. But he gets arrested and she feels a little sorry for him.

Gruelling drama "The Story of Qiu Ju" is a proportionally weak film despite numerous praise, but it has a sarcastic plot that isn't seen too often in Chinese cinema: in the exposition, heroine Qiu Ju is transporting her husband in a cart who later on stands up, limps and enters a hospital, and she then tells how the head of the community kicked him between the legs and that now she will sue him to the supreme court! Out of that concept, someone could have made a funny-satirical film about society, but director Zhang Yimou killed the rhythm with unbearable empty walk. Qiu wins every time in her dispute and gets the money from the head of the community, but because of her stubbornness she also demands an apology so she goes to the court 5 times (!), up until the viewers get tired of the whole thing - except that it's the only thing in the film. Even the dialogues get repeated unnecessary ("Where were you? I've been looking for you! Did something happen to you? Where were you? I've been looking for you!"). It's an ambitious film, but it's pure redundancy.


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