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The Blue Kite


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Banned in China, where the director was under close government scrutiny for making the film without permission. The Blue Kite is the most acclaimed and controversial of all of the films to come out of the new Chinese cinema. Told from the perspective of a young boy. Tietou, it traces the fate of a Beijing family and their neighbors as they experience the political and social upheavals in 1950's and 60's China. Tietou's parents, a librarian and school teacher, both loyal communist party members, soon learn that even the most innocent criticisms can be interpreted by the Party as imperialist propaganda. Over the next fifteen years, Tietou observes the adverse effects of party policy on various members of his family. The only image of hope and freedom offered in the film is a blue kite give to Tietou by his father, which he later passes on to the next generation.

From the Back Cover

Banned in China, where the director was under close government scrutiny for making the film "without permission" "The Blue Kite" is the most acclaimed and controversial of all of the films to come out of the new Chinese cinema. Told from the perspective of a young boy, Tietou, it traces the fate of a Beijing family and their neighbors as they experience the political and social upheavals in 1950's and 60's China. Tietous' parents, a librarian and school teacher, both loyal communist party members, soon learn that even the most innocent criticisms can be interpreted by the Party as imperialist propaganda. Over the next fifteen years, Tietous observes the adverse effects of party policy on various members of his family. The only image of hope and freedom offered in the film is a blue kite given to Tietou by his father, which he later passes on to the next generation

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen, Liping Lü, Cunxin Pu
  • Directors: Zhuangzhuang Tian
  • Writers: Xiao Mao
  • Producers: Guiping Luo, Yongping Cheng
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JZVS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,965 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Blue Kite" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
65%
4 star
20%
3 star
15%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 20 customer reviews
The acting is excellent.
Frank
Unfortunately, a friend of the family gives Lin Shaolong's name to the Communist Party and he is sent to a reform camp.
A Customer
Overall Blue Kite is a brilliant film and a good referance point of the new Chinese cinema.
Kuroneko1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kuroneko1 on August 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Blue Kite is truly a great example of the new chinese cinema that gathered the attention from all over the world. First of all it is very realistic, very honest and very touching. Director manages to melt this 3 different emotion so well with the great acting and a well written story. Story starts with a baby's birth in early Mao era china and slowly continues its journey in China's political history of 50's and 60's. In this movie we witness a family's struggle to keep up with the times against all political unstabilities of those days. A mother's struggle to grow her child after loosing 2 husbands and other misfortunes that fell on her and her family is extrmely well portrayed and acting is well executed by the actors. Camera captures verything as real and sometimes like a historical documentary that is set in a family's circle. Overall Blue Kite is a brilliant film and a good referance point of the new Chinese cinema. Check it out.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By H. W on July 17, 2005
Format: DVD
As most other people have commented, the film is about a tragic story of common Chinese people under Mao's communism rule. I will focus more on my thoughts about why the film is named "The Blue Kite" as it seems have little relationship with the topic of the film, as especially why there are so many scenes of the blue kite stuck on trees.

The story started when Tietou's parents got married and a bunch of children chasing a blue kite but it is stuck on the top of tree. One child tries to fetch it by climbing over the roof. Adults come out and warn the children and one says "I will get a new one for you for sure". This scene is certainly the happiest moment in the film as people are cheerful. The historic background is that China just had communism revolution and most people believed it would bring prosperity and democracy. Common people are cheerful at that time.

As Anti-Rightist political movement came and Tietou's family is shattered by political accusations, soon there was widespread famine in China but eventually people survived and once again Tietou believed that his kite can fly. People are more hopeful if not cheerful that 10 years ago. People still believe in the system. And finally Tietou's mother remarried a high-ranking party official and things seem to get better.

And then cultural revolution started, no one could escape the political accusation and Tietou's stepfather became a target of struggle. Finally Tietou lying on the ground, beated up by Red Guards, watching the kite broken in the wind, listless on the treetop. And finally I realized that the kite stands for Hope, people's hope for a better life.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Fear rules when the party can denounce anyone at anytime for voicing opinions or even thinking that what the government does isn't right. A great coming of age movie with strong political overtones. The acting is excellent and you really feel for the young protagonist. This is a must see for all chinese film fans. I really enjoyed the subtle way that the viewer is pulled into the film. At each turn we almost want to shout to the actors "Don't speak up or they'll haul you away to the camps!" This really says how the film puts you in the position of "what would I do if I didn't live in a free society." A very real look at how a repressive government can destroy lives and prevent creativity and economic prosperity. A good companion to this film is the Russian production of "The Thief", also an enjoyable coming of age flick. I wonder how the reviewer from Moscow didn't get it. May be this will help. Freedom includes the right to say whatever you want about a government and try to make changes within the system without fear of reprisals. (Especially being sent to internment camps or being beaten to death.) Does that simplify it for you.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "joysblack" on April 18, 2003
Format: DVD
I strongly disagree with James J. J. Janis' review on The Blue Kyte. An effective film doesn't mean that it is a two hour movie that covers everything about the subject, but a two hour movie that opens your minds up to the subject. It'd leave you thinking and wondering. It'd make you want to find out more, asking why and how. Personally, I was very moved by the movie. I too came to the movie with some background knowledge of the topic, but I did not watch the movie thinking that I learned nothing from it. Even though it somewhat echoed a book that I recently read, Son of the Revolution, I still feel like I left the film understanding more and wanting to find out even more. However, I have to acknowledge the I do believe that people who can understand Mandarin would appreaciate the movie a bit more than those that don't. Because the subtitles sometimes skips or mistranslates some important phrases. Yes, he might be right that there are scenes that can be cut out to make the film at a reasonable length, but for what? To match Holleywood filmmaking standards? How can you cut any realistic scenes from a movie that is to tell the story. What and who is to determine that only certain details of the peasants' life tell the Chinese communist story and others are just simply unrelavent? Overall, I give this movie a 5 star rating. Because I cannot find another movie that shows more truth about the China under Mao's influence in the late 50's and 60's more than this one particular film.
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