Movie: Under the Hawthorn Tree

This weekend, I finished watching the new movie directed by Zhang Yimou: Under the Hawthorn Tree.  This movie is about a pure love story between a high-school young girl and a young man in the 1970’s in China.

Synopsis is like this:  A young high-school female student, Jingqiu, went to a small village to write a revolutionary story about a hawthorn tree.  There she met a young man, LaoSan, who worked in a geological prospecting team. They fell in love at the first sight.  But they couldn’t show their love publically given the specific background of China then. Jingqiu’s father was in labor camps, and her mother was sick. All of her family counted on her to become a teacher so as to earn money and improve their family lives. So she had to behave well and couldn’t make any political mistakes during the period.  One of the most serious political mistakes back then was freedom of love.  Jingqiu and LaoSan kept their relationship in secret.  But one day, Jingqiu heard that LaoSan was sick in hospital and suffered from fatal disease leukemia. Jingqiu went to visit LaoSan and stayed with him desperately for three days.  However, they just stayed together happily, and nothing happened about sex. Maybe this is why the director claimed that this movie is about a “pure love” story.  After they parted on the fourth day morning, LaoSan disappeared soon afterwards. And nobody knew where he went. Jingqiu couldn’t find him anywhere.  The story just ended there.

I felt this movie just went smoothly like quietly flowing water, albeit a little emotionally depressing.  There were not many ups and downs since there were not many happenings between the leading actress and actor. It did not make me think much or arouse me much sympathy after watching though, maybe because I was not very familiar with the story background which was happened before I was born.


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