Red Detachment of Women

Coming Home

Coming Home

Director: Zhang Yimou

Cast: Gong Li, Chen Daoming, Zhang Huiwen

Another film set during and after the Cultural Revolution is Coming Home, the latest film by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou who brought such classics as Raise the Red Lantern and the more commercially accessible The Flowers of War.

flowers_of_war_ver5

Coming Home as seen at the 36th Durban International Film Festival DIFF is a quiet and intimate film focusing on a Chinese couple, Lu Yanshi played by Chen Daoming and Feng Wanyu superbly played by Gong Li who are forced to separate after their only daughter, an aspiring ballerina Dan Dan played by Zhang Huiwen reports her father to the Communist authorities and he in turns is sent away as a political prisoner.

After a disruptive farewell at the local train station, Lu Yanshi and Feng Wanyu do not see each other for years and when Yanshi returns to his home, he finds that his wife does not recognize him due to psychological amnesia caused by a traumatic event.

house_of_flying_daggers_ver2

After the flourish of earlier films like Raise the Red Lantern, The House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower Zhang Yimou rather chooses to focus on the broken relationship of a husband and wife whose love for each other is brutally torn apart by the restrictive society they live and as fate occurs, this love cannot be resurrected despite Lu Yanshi’s attempts at reconciliation and his own careful methods of reawakening his wife’s lost memory, mainly through the use of old photos and an abundance of letters.

At 109 minutes, Coming Home is a slightly drawn out film in Mandarin with English subtitles, which could have done with some editing, however the central narrative is held together by Gong Li’s brilliant portrayal of a woman whose own memory has betrayed her, leaving her bewildered and confused, yet always clinging to a hope that one day her family will be reconciled.

Unlike Zhang Yimou’s previous films such as The Flowers of War and Curse of the Golden Flower, Coming Home lacks flourish and spectacle but is beautifully filmed and held together by some magnificent acting especially by Gong Li, who does for Chinese cinema what Oscar winner Julianne Moore did for American cinema in Still Alice.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2015
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
  • WTFilms Launches ‘Apache: Gang of Paris’ at Unifrance Rendez-Vous
    Paris-based sales agent WTFilms, which specializes in genre movies, is presenting Romain Quirot’s sophomore feature film, “Apache: Gang of Paris,” at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous in Paris. The pic is an ambitious revenge movie set in early 20th century Paris, when rival gangs were wreaking havoc. The term apache was coined in Paris at the time, […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Gaspar Noe on ‘Vortex’ and the Changing World of Cinema
    Argentine helmer Gaspar Noé’s latest feature “Vortex” world premiered in Cannes, where it was greeted with a standing ovation and critical acclaim. Variety spoke to the director at the Unifrance Rendez-vous in Paris this week about the film. “Vortex,” lensed during the 2020 lockdown, follows an elderly couple in a Paris apartment. Shot entirely in […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Jordan Cashmyer, ’16 and Pregnant’ Alum, Dies at 26
    Jordan Cashmyer, a woman who was featured on MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” in 2014, died in Maryland on Sunday. She was 26 years old. News of Cashmyer’s death was shared by her mother, Jessica Cashmyer, through a post written on the Facebook account of the late Dennis M. Cashmyer Jr., her husband and Jordan’s father. […]
    J. Kim Murphy
  • Environmental Filmmaker Cyril Dion Plans ‘Animal’ Follow-Up, First Fiction Project ‘Le Grand Vertige’
    Filmmaker and environmental activist Cyril Dion is planning a follow-up documentary to his Cannes-selected documentary “Animal” as well as his first fiction feature film, adapted from Pierre Ducrozet’s eco-themed novel, “Le Grand Vertige.” Dion first rose to international prominence with his 2015 environmental documentary “Tomorrow,” in which he and co-director Mélanie Laurent highlighted important initiatives […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Olivier Dahan on Simone Veil Biopic ‘Simone, A Woman of the Century’
    Olivier Dahan’s “Simone, A Woman of the Century” completes the trilogy he began with the Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en Rose,” starring Marion Cotillard, and “Grace of Monaco,” starring Nicole Kidman. Dahan spoke with Variety during the Unifrance Rendezvous in Paris, where the film had its market premiere. “Simone,” starring Elsa Zylberstein (“Un plus […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90