Video Review

To Live (1995)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
EW's GRADE
B

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Drama, Foreign Language; With: Gong Li and Ge You; Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Contemporary Chinese films are fast becoming clichés as they repeatedly recount how decent people coped with the country's radical political changes earlier in this century. To Live, a sentimental story of a sweet couple (Ge You and Gong Li) who struggle through upheavals (war, the death of a child, death in childbirth, ill health), with its committed performances and straightforward style, is essentially epic melodrama. Yet, in the skilled hands of director Zhang Yimou, this too-familiar material becomes eminently watchable. B

Originally posted Aug 18, 1995 Published in issue #288 Aug 18, 1995 Order article reprints