August 18, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

To Live

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Gong Li, Ge You
director
Zhang Yimou
distributor
Samuel Goldwyn Films
genre
Foreign Language, Drama
We gave it a B

Contemporary Chinese films are fast becoming clichés as they repeatedly recount how decent people coped with the country’s radical political changes earlier in this century. To Live, a sentimental story of a sweet couple (Ge You and Gong Li) who struggle through upheavals (war, the death of a child, death in childbirth, ill health), with its committed performances and straightforward style, is essentially epic melodrama. Yet, in the skilled hands of director Zhang Yimou, this too-familiar material becomes eminently watchable. B

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