Taking Father Home
Filmed with a borrowed camera and featuring a cast made up almost entirely of the director s friends and relatives, Taking Father Home is the moving story of Xu Yun, a teenager who lives in a remote village in China s Sichuan province. With nothing but a basket of geese to use as currency, he travels to the city of Zigong to find and retrieve his father who walked out on the family six years before. Once in Zigong, Yun learns quickly as he finds no shortage of mentors eager to impart advice.
Director Ying Liang's remarkable evocation of the sights, sounds and smells of Zigong is breathtaking, recreating the mood and character of an entire culture with just the simplest of touches and the most basic use of dialogue. An utterly engaging emotional experience, Taking Father Home has established Ying as one of world cinema's most promising young talents.DVD Features:
I could not tear myself away from the screen until I learned the outcome of Xu Yun's journey to take father home. --Malcom L. Rigsby, Prof. of Sociology, Henderson State University
Ying presents China with an incisive, analytical eye; in his calmly unfolding tableaux, the dramatic action seems to arise from the jarring locations, such as high-rise buildings abutting rundown alleys and desolate boulevards that loom in the night like dead zones. The eruption of the foretold devastation. The floods, which are shown in documentary images, correspond to the moral devastation that surrounds the boy's desperate mission. This richly nuanced yet powerfully symbolic movie is an astonishingly accomplished debut. --The New Yorker
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with too much repetition in the dialog and scenes and slow moving. There were moments that were good
but, too few. The geese were however great.
The story begins with a 17 year old boy, Xu Yun, from the village on a mission to locate his father who has abandoned the family 6 years ago. Xu Yun knows the exact address where is father now lives in the city of Zigong with a new wife and child. Father, like many, landed in the city to make money. Xu Yun, the naïve country boy, strictly on a mission, begins his journey with a basket on his back that carries two geese, just in case he needs to sell them to get by in the city. Plus, he carries a large knife.
Along the way, he encounters the real world of city people, including a criminal who becomes a mentor, and a policeman who becomes like a surrogate father. But mostly, it is a policeman takes him through the city, follows him, leads him around encountering the common folk, violence, and a threat of the city flooding.
The film captures a close-up of the city streets, the people, culture, and scenery. There is no great plot, the viewer just observes and feels like you are along for the ride through his journey. The story is very simple, a relationship between a father and son that is not. There isn't any great intensity or anxiety in following Xu Yun in his journey, but, as I said, it feels as if the viewer is simply goes along for the ride.
For more on the director's vision, influence, budget, etc. don't miss the special feature on the film. There is not much on the making of the film, but more of an interview into the vision of the director and his girlfriend, the producer.