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59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

Tangshan, 1976. Two seven-year-old twins are buried under the rubble of the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century. The rescue team explains to their mother that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. Forced to make the most difficult decision of her life, she finally chooses to save her son. Though left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives, unbeknownst to her brother and mother. AFTERSHOCK follows the family on their separate journeys over the course of the next 32 years, as they build lives forever shadowed by the traumatic experience of the earthquake, and eventually face each other and the decisions of the past.

The acclaimed epic that broke all box-office records in China, AFTERSHOCK Featuring an all-star cast including Jingchu Zhang (Rush Hour 3) and Daoming Chen (Hero), AFTERSHOCK shines with its powerful exploration of how one moment can change a family s life forever.

Special Features

  • In Mandarin, Tangshan and English with English and Chinese subtitles


this well-paced film, blessed with topnotch perfs, satisfies on every level. --Variety

With nuanced performances, each moment rips with cinematic humanity. --bet

A touching family drama with an earth shattering historical backdrop. --Hollywood Reporter

Product Details

  • Actors: Daoming Chen, Chen Li, Yi Lu
  • Directors: Xiaogang Feng
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, English
  • Subtitles: English, Chinese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: China Lion
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005B0QYSQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,116 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Inkwell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2010
Format: DVD
To understand the scale of what happened in Tangshan in 1976, if you consider that the two atomic bombs detonated detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki between them killed 220,000 people.

The Tangshan earthquake lasted slightly less than a minute, killed 250,000 people. Before the earthquake fish jumped out of aquariums. 89% of the buildings in Tangshan were reduced to rubble, and a million people were left homeless. Aftershock tracks the story of one family, and its effect on them.

A young mother is faced with a crushing dilemma. Both her six year old twin children are trapped under a huge concrete beam. One cannot be rescued without the other being crushed to death. We don't know if another aftershock will kill both of them at any moment. She decides to save her son. She lays the daughter next to the body of her husband believing her dead. However, the daughter regains consciousness, and is adopted by a soldier and his wife. The mother, believing her daughter dead has to live with the consequences of her decision. The daughter faded in and out of consciousness during the rescue, we don't know how much she heard of rescue attempt. However, her subsequent behavior offers clues.

So we follow their lives from then to the present day. We understand their suffering because it makes sense, there are mysteries within the movie, such as will daughter and mother ever be reunited, or will the twin siblings ever be reunited. We hope that for the sake of the story it will happen, but the fact that the daughter marries and moves to Canada seems to indicate otherwise.

Aftershock, is cinematic storytelling at its best. We don't have understand Chinese to fell gripped by the emotions that are unfolding onscreen.
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Format: DVD
With its epilogue, the Chinese epic "Aftershock" makes it known that it wants to stand as a tribute to the estimated 240,000-250,000 lives lost in the devastating earthquake in Tangshan circa 1976. This horrendous quake decimated the city, destroyed lives, and ripped families apart. And any film that wants to honor the heroism and perseverance of the citizens that emerged from tragedy to rebuild not only their city but their lives is worthy of respect for its good intentions. But as I've said often in judging films--good intentions only take you so far! "Aftershock" is much more than its message--it is also an unforgettable and compelling family drama that spans over 30 years. It is an extremely satisfying historical epic that also tells a quietly powerful story about the long range affects that one night had on a family (and by extension, a nation). So, by all means, come to "Aftershock" for its good intentions but don't lose sight that it is also tremendous filmmaking!

If I had my druthers, I would have wanted to go into the film without knowing the major components of its plot. However, some of the details seem to be inescapable if you look at any of the marketing material, advertising, or product descriptions. The film does begin with a spectacular sequence recreating the Tangshan quake. It's a realistic and harrowing depiction that would stand on par to any contemporary special effects you'd see in Hollywood blockbusters. But this is no empty headed disaster film (which I love), but something much more heartfelt and affecting. On this fateful evening, a family of four is divided and it's not until 32 years later where they will all understand the truth of the night.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By b on July 15, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The only movie that's ever made me cry. And that's because I watched it with English subtitles; I can't imagine how much more powerful it is if you understand Mandarin.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mea on May 17, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A sublime film. I feel very fortunate to be someone who does't mind subtitles; it's worth a little extra effort to watch a film like this.
This is not a fast-moving film, it's a contemplative one. The tragedy of the earthquake is unbearably sad, but the film is redemptive. The screenplay, acting, cinematography and musical score are all top-notch. It would be very difficult to find anything to critique.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 1, 2012
Format: DVD
It's clear, Aftershock is a mixture of sentimentality and epic disaster. Based on the 1976 horrible Tangshan earthquake, where 240,000 lives were lost, the story focuses on the life of life of a mom, father, and two small children, who become separated during the devastation. Dad was killed, and the boy and girl are pinned beneath concrete slabs. One can be saved, and with pressure by the rescuers, mom is forced to select the boy, who loses an arm. However, the girl believed to be dead, is not, and soon taken in by another family.

The time period shifts to 1995 where the daughter plans to study medicine, but through another course in her life, must leave those studies. Meanwhile the son and his mother live together, and mother suffers greatly with the idea of the choice she made. The son lives with being a handicap and as he grows to be a man, his concern for his mother's well-being is evident over her long-term grief.

This is clearly a grand movie, very well done, from the musical score, the earthquake visuals, the images of thousands of people, to the acting of the main characters. The landscape is vivid and spectacular.

But most of all, the story is well-done, with a strong theme of grief by the mother, and the abandonment by the daughter. The connection of grief the mother carries for years is juxtapose to the longtime feeling of unwantedness by the daughter. There is nothing rushed about the movie, giving the viewer time to absorb the characters, to feel the moods, to acknowledge the relationships, to understand the emotional turmoil that lives in people.

Excellent film, on a grand scale! ..... Rizzo
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