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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
32
Getting Home (Amazon.com Exclusive)
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$13.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on November 24, 2017
You will see the good side of China in this film. There are swindlers and cheats as well and you get to see the selfishness and lack of humanity that is prevalent and decried on social media within the country. Still, you see human decency and good will that helps this construction worker take his co-worker of four years back to his hometown. It does social commentary in a subtle way even though there are the picture perfect postcards of beautiful Chinese countryside as well as the ubiquitous construction sites with its construction dust that covers the ever-changing land. You see a bit of the urban versus rural divide and the director contrasts this with the host of characters that helps the main character along his journey. There are definitely some funny moments in the film. As it is allowed to be released, it is a sanitized view and it gives a more favorable impression to outsiders. It's kind of unrealistic to have so many strangers help him in a culture that is so insider/outsider structured. Maybe the director wishes it was more like this in society. It's rose-tinted view is still beautiful and offers a positive view of the people in the land. It's a bit simplistic but it doesn't need to be so complex. It's just a beautiful film.
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on September 7, 2016
This is the type of film that is never made in the US and only rarely elsewhere, with the exceptions of China, Taiwan and Japan. Touching but never maudlin, beautifully filmed, perfect music, simple and beautiful. Sociology plus character, dealing with the working class. It is reminiscent of early picaresque novels, but far deeper in its implications. Only stumbles a couple of times, when it appears that the director and the star are (consciously or otherwise) channeling Chaplin's Little Tramp. But these are brief moments in an otherwise perfect film.
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on February 25, 2016
With racial bigotry being pumped by some of our Presidential candidates and one of our political parties, foreign movies are a powerful reminder that people anywhere in the world are capable of noble achievement despite seemingly insurmountable challenges. They also showcase the despicable actions WE are capable of when we choose to be guided by selfishness. "Getting Home", while not alone in its genre, gets my highest rating for riveting & believable acting performances, cultural immersion beyond the tourist experience, and gorgeous off the beaten path cinematography.
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on January 16, 2012
I very much enjoyed this film of contemporary China as seen through the trials and tribulations of a 50-year old migrant worker called Lao Zhao ("Old Zhao"). He works in construction in the megalopolis of Shenzhen in southern coastal China. When his co-worker dies, Lao Zhao attempts to fulfill a promise to bring him back home to his family in Sichuan province in the interior. The plot of "Getting Home" was apparently based on a true story. The Chinese title derives from the saying, "A falling leaf returns to its roots."

The film is both comic (with black humor involving the transport and preservation of a corpse) and sad. When the film opens, Lao Zhao thinks his friend has passed out at a cafe, but in fact he has died. The main character is never daunted. No matter what hardship he encounters en route to getting his friend to his native place, he perseveres. He feels joy in small victories, such as beating a water buffalo in a foot race or finding a tire that he can use. Lao Zhao reminds one of a modern-day Ah-Q, a fictional character by Lu Xun, one of the most important Chinese writers of the 20th century.

Lao Zhao changes the lives of those he meets. One of the characters is played by the eminent Wu Ma (the rapping drunken Daoist in "A Chinese Ghost Story"). His love interest is played by Song Dandan, a well-known stage comedienne (leader of the female rebels in "House of Flying Daggers"). All the cops who figure in the film seem to be kind and sincere, which perhaps is wishful thinking. One would like to think that the message of the film is that the good are rewarded and that Lao Zhao will carry on, but the ending is not conclusive and the future uncertain, which may in itself leave room for debate.

Zhao Benshan portrayed a similarly decent but unlucky fellow in Zhang Yimou's tragi-comedy "Happy Times" (2000). In "Getting Home"'s informative special features, including interviews with the director and cast, Zhao Benshan explains that he had no difficulty acting the part in Getting Home because much of his life paralleled that of Lao Zhao. He was born in 1958 in Liaoning province in northeast China into a peasant family and evidently orphaned in childhood, when he began to learn traditional performing arts.

It is revealed in the film that Lao Zhao is from the northeast, based upon his accent and feeling of connection to those speaking the same dialect. Shenzhen was the first Special Economic Zone established in China as part of Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms launched in the late 1970s after the death of Mao. China has major internal migration, especially from the less developed west and center to the industrialized coast.

The director, Zhang Yang (b. 1967) is considered one of the Sixth Generation of major filmmakers. The son of a film director, he graduated from the prestigious Central Academy of Drama. He uses a realistic style and focuses on ordinary people and their lives. He was acclaimed for the comedy-drama "Shower" (1999) about a family-run bathhouse in Beijing with a mentally-challenged son and another who has gone to make his fortune in Shenzhen. This film was followed by "Quitting" (2001) about an actor's struggle with drugs, played by the actor himself, his family, and inmates at a mental institution all playing themselves.

"Getting Home" is entertaining and good for understanding issues of contemporary Chinese economy, society, government, and culture, as well as for gorgeous landscapes of rural China. I plan to show the film to my college class; it would also be appropriate for younger kids.
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on October 30, 2017
Very different than the usual Hollywood hype of sex and violence. Interspersed with humor, this unique movie touches upon life themes such as humility, honesty, and loyalty. Some nice scenes of the Chinese mountains. Enjoyed this very much.
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on January 2, 2015
One of the Best Chinese or any films seen in long time. Tragic-Comdy riddle wth vignettes of life's lessons on the road as a friend carries his dead friend home on a long journey through the Chinese countryside. What characters he meets. The protoganist gives a tour de for everyman performance wth a graceful acceptance of fate. Don't miss this one.
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on April 2, 2015
Beautiful scenery of China's countryside. Lao Zhao fulfilling his promise to bring his dead friend back to his family & be buried near them shows what true friendship is & means. It also indicates what it means to keep one's promise.
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on March 16, 2013
This is a terrific movie. The story with its many captivating sub-stories is very touching and the acting is exceptional.

I watch very few movies. After having seen a small part of "Getting Home" on Link TV I knew I wanted to see all of it. And when I told My family and friends about a movie, they knew it was exceptional and they wanted to watch it also. All of us have enjoyed "Getting Home."
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on December 6, 2017
ok
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on May 13, 2016
Saw this film 10 years ago. Loved it then. Watching it again, I see how much China has already changed. But still love this film. It shows the connections between people and the effect of all the changes on those connections
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