Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
China/South Korea, 2002. 21 Century Shengkai Film, 21st Century Hero Film Investments, Big Bang Creative, China Film Group Corporation, China Movie Channel, Chinarunn Entertainment Inc.. Screenplay by Kaige Chen, Xiao Lu Xue. Cinematography by Jiongqiu Jin, Hyung-ku Kim. Produced by Kaige Chen, Chen Hong, Lee Joo-Ick, Bolun Li, Ernst Etchie Stroh, Xiamoing Yan, Buting Yang. Music by Lin Zhao. Production Design by Juiping Cao, Luyi Liu. Costume Design by Yeong-su Ha. Film Editing by Ying Zhou. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
A poor father and son from the Chinese provinces come to the big city in order for the boy to make it as a violinist. When they get there, the father works while the boy takes lessons, first from one masterful teacher before one of the greatest instructors in the country takes him on. All this plays against the personal drama of the young man being separated both physically and emotionally from his father, who only wants the best for his son despite the fact that it means he might not be able to go along with him on his journey of discovery. This film by Chen Kaige is a genuinely heartwarming tale of family and the role of art in society, but the story has too many tangents that are unnecessary and bog the experience down. It runs much longer than it should, but if you’re willing to sit through the whole thing you’ll experience some nice moments worth your time.