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Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles-Movie Review 12/14/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Chinese language film, Drama, Emotional Drama, Japanese language film, Movies.

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (Japanese/Chinese) 2005

Winner, Best Foreign Language Film; Best Actor (Takakura), San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
Winner, Best Asian Film, Hong Kong Film Awards

Directed by Zhang Yimou
Starring Ken Takakura, Li Jiamin, and Yang Zhenbo

When Japanese father Gouichi Takata (Takakura) learns that his estranged son has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he tries to meet with him but the son still refuses. To make amends, the father feels compelled to travel to China to complete the work his son, a documentary filmmaker, spent years on, the filming of a folk opera called Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.

The story starts out slowly but picks up as Gouichi travels to the remote countryside of China, where the scenery is strikingly beautiful. Trying to deal with an unknown country and an unfamiliar culture, he begins making decisions that are led by his heart rather than his head. While trying to help Li Jiamin (Jiamin), the jailed star of the mask opera, patch his relationship with his five-year-old son Yang Yang (Zhenbo), Gouichi receives news that his own son has died, leaving behind a letter of forgiveness.

Director Zhang Yimou, who is usually known for more action-oriented films such as House of Flying Daggers, handles the emotional journey undertaken by an old man very well. Adding to the cultural authenticity, many locals were used, including the translator Jasmine, tour guide Qui, and folk opera artist Li Jiamin.

107 min. Rated PG

For more about Zhang Yimou


1. scpello - 12/18/2010

Sounds interesting. I’ve got to get a DVD, thanks.


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