The Road Home | Chicago Reader

The Road Home

A man who's also the narrator—and the director's representative in what's at least metaphorical autobiography—learns that his father has died. Then a virtually feature-length flashback dramatizes his parents' courtship so that he—and we—will understand why it's so important to his mother that his father's coffin be carried rather than driven home for burial. Politics had interrupted the first love match in his mother's north China village, where arranged marriages were the norm—and whether the portrayal of her relationship with his father celebrates or only tolerates the ideals of silver-screen romance is one question this 1999 tearjerker brimming with Titanic references may be asking. Zhang Yimou directed a screenplay by Bao Shi; with Zhang Ziyi, Sun Honglei, Zheng Hao, and Zhao Yuelin. 100 min. In Mandarin with subtitles.

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