2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
...."I hope you are my second chance",
This review is from: Sunflower (DVD)
During the 70s, at age 9, Xiangyang`s father, an artistic painter, has entered into his life after serving time in a labor camp. However, brutal treatment (stomping on his hands) he received in the camp destroyed his ability to ever paint again. The young boy rebels authority by his father as he just wants to be a kid like the others. Father has dreams of him becoming a painter and forcefully engages the young boy into lessons. Discovering one way to get out of painting, Xiangyang makes attempts to ruin his painting hand.
The family endures an earthquake, and mother is all about making a home for her family, attempting to be on the list for an apartment that means resorting to a divorce until they get the apartment. The story jumps to 1987 when Xiangyang meets a beautiful girl and paints her while she skates on the ice. The relationship blooms, as he saves money to leave for Guangzhou with the girl and a friend, but again, father has control over him and forces him to stay to become the painter he never got to be.
As Xiangyang becomes a young man in love, the conflict with his father continues as the parents go as far as insisting when Xiangyang and his, presumably, wife must have a child.
This is a wonderful compassionate film on father and son relationships, a universal theme, when the family imposes the best for their child; and especially, when a parent lives their dream through their child at the price of natural tension, conflict and stress that comes with that. But, it is a film about love; love for your family!
The movie depicts the cultural changes in Beijing, changes in a family's life over thirty years. The 70s scenes were shot in alleys, courtyards, unique housing and here is a nostalgic look at the children, simply at play. The next scenes jumps to 1999 and we see how different society has changed. This is a wonderful two hour family drama, saga, and a relationship with conflict.
Don't miss the Special Features, discussion about how director Zhang Yang hopes people can come away with something from their own lives, some pieces of their own memories. You will also learn how the title relates to the film's theme. This is a two hour family saga filled with tense conflict and emotions. And for another Zhang Yang directed film with emotional family issues, see the wonderful and humorous Shower ......Rizzo