Lawrence O'Toole
May 13, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

An emotionally charged, pictorially magnificent work from Chen Kaige, the director of Farewell My Concubine. A blind Chinese holy man waits for his sight to be restored before he dies, his expectation serving as a mystical allegory of humankind’s progress through life. Set in the mountainous landscape of Mongolia, Life on a String is grippingly operatic and continues to haunt long after it’s over.

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