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Not One Less (1999)

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Not One Less caused controversy when it was demoted from official competition at Cannes, apparently for containing elements of propaganda. Zhang Yimou was unhappy with this suggestion and had the film withdrawn entirely, stating that the West (or at least the West as represented by the Cannes purveyors of ‘quality’ cinema) had an undesirable tendency to treat all Chinese films as statements either for or against the Chinese government. Every now and then it is surely constructive for someone to … (read more)

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The Road Home (1999)

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Zhang Yimou followed his schoolroom drama Not One Less with this charming rural romance. The plot for this film could be neatly inscribed on a postage stamp – and by that, I mean to praise its elegance and simplicity.

The film begins in the present, and this section is shot in black-and-white. Luo rolls up in an incongruous four-wheel drive to his family property, somewhere in the boondocks, to help his mother make preparations for his father’s funeral. She insists … (read more)

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