This critically acclaimed award-winner was banned in China for its harshly realistic portrayal of life under Chairman Mao. Following a young boy and his family through the social upheaval of the '50s and '60s, Tian Zhuangzhuang's THE BLUE KITE is an epic look at recent Chinese history and the effect political changes have on personal lives. The film follows young Tietou as he grows up in the midst of the cultural revolution, watching colleagues denounce each other, and neighbors, living under the guise of happy "communal living," spy on one another. One by one, Tietou's family and friends get caught in the violent upheaval until finally the dramatic events engulf Tietou himself.
Understandably, the Chinese government was not happy with Tian Zhuangzhuang's highly critical portrayal of the communist party. They refused to allow him to leave the country to complete the film; he supervised the editing without actually being there to see the rough cut. He still has not seen the finished film. Shown at the 1993 New York Film Festival. Other cast members include: Li Xuejian (Uncle Li/Li Guodong), Guo Baochang (Stepfather/Lao Wu), Zhong Ping (Chen Shusheng), Chu Quanzhong (Chen Shuyan), Song Xiaoying (Sis), Zhang Hong (Zhu Ying), Liu Yangin (Shujuan's mother), and Li Bin (Granny). Other crew members include: Zhu Baosheng and Li Gang (set decorators), Hao Xia and Wu Yeyao (makeup), and Wu Ling (sound recordist).
"...Tian demonstrates a rigorous, unsentimental control of the material that becomes very moving..." - 10/02/1993 New York Times, p.16
Recommended - 06/01/1995 Premiere, p.117
"...A moving, politically frank look at a family torn apart by China's social turmoil of the '50s and '60s..." - 06/14/1993 Variety
"...THE BLUE KITE is a powerful film.....A tale told with tenderness...Streaked with endearments..." - 07/01/1993 Film Comment, p.70-3
"...Daring politically and quietly shattering emotionally, it tells the truth in such a completely human way..." - 06/01/1994 Los Angeles Times, p.F3
"...Extraordinary, a sweep of modern Chinese history seen through the eyes of a single family..." - 09/16/1994 Chicago Sun-Times, p.41
"...[A] gutsy cinematic endeavor....Emotionally turbulent..." - 06/02/1995 USA Today, p.3D