The Movie “To Live” showed me a lot about what life must have been like during the mid-1900. Its good to see it in a movie because reading about Chinese lives at that time cannot deliver the true pain, joy, and emotion felt, it needs to be shown. The movie showed me a lot that I have never seen before. For example, it showed me how communism worked in China, and the harsh living there was. It made me appreciate what I have. I realized that some of the things that we have now we take too much for granted. Life like that is so far from our standard of living. It seems so unreal. Rather than trying to decide what to wear or complaining about homework, these people were trying to survive. Like doing back breaking and life threatening work: delivering water and working near melted metal. I was surprised at some things that occurred in the movie too. It was funny to see a man piggyback another person like a taxi in the beginning of the movie. Also how the Chinese army recruited Fugui, forcing him to join right when they saw him surprised me. I have never seen a communal eating area. It also surprised me to see how easy it was to be deemed as a traitor. Even a single comment can get a person in trouble. Fugui even framed his army papers to prove that he wasn’t a traitor. It seems that every time life seems to get better something tragic and terrible happens. For example, the success of the puppet show leads to the army recruitment. The better living leads to Younquin’s death. And the birth of Fugui’s grandson leads to Fengxia’s death. This movie shows that even through such hardships a person must live on because everyone has a reason to live. And the happier times showed us that in times of suffering and hardship, people could still be joyful. I liked the movie because of the contrasts of happy moments and sad moments, scary moments and funny moments.
The movie “To Live” is a powerful story about life in China from the 1940’s to the late 1960’s. I found it to be both one of the few films that accurately depicts history while telling an interesting dramatic story. The intimate story of Fugui is both wonderful and heartbreaking. I began the film, like Fugui, amazed by the great wonders of communism and the benefits of Chairman Mao, but I came to see the downfalls of his glorious ideas and felt betrayed, much like Fugui. It seemed to me, that no matter what he did, he always found tragedy and hardship. Still, he was resilient and strong. The characters of the film were rich and wonderful. They all had positive outlooks despite everything that went wrong. I was amazed by the brilliant acting abilities of all the actors. The characters they played were both sensitive and realistic. In watching “To Live”, I found the story to be confusing. Though I really enjoyed the movie, parts wee confusing and hard to follow. I think this can mostly be attributed to the fact that I missed the first day of movie watching, but once I was familiar with the story, some of it still confused me. Because it takes place over such a large time period, it is sometimes hard to keep track ok everything that is going on. It did not, however, detract from the movie’s full effect. The story was still compelling and interesting. Above all, I was amazed by the Chinese people’s mindless devotion to Mao. Every event that happened was marked by photographs of Mao and copies the Little Red Book. Though the revolution was a common cause every character was fighting for, all of Fugui’s losses were direct results of the revolution and Chairman Mao. Still, they kept their allegiance to him. This shows their resilience and determination as a country and a people group.
I thought that the movie “To Live” was a powerful retelling of China’s modern history through the life of a wonderfully cast set of actors. We first met the actor at a low point in his life; he had lost his house to gambling, and his wife had exiled him from his house. Nevertheless, we felt sympathetic for him because he was a hard-working character with whom we could identify. As the story progressed and various members of his family died, our sympathy for him only increased. We saw how the changing political environment in China affected his life, by dragging him into the military, moving to the city, and forcing doctors out of hospitals. We also got a glimpse into the society that we could not have gotten from a textbook. There were several cultural differences that I noticed as I watched the film. The grandparents named the baby, not the parents. The grandparents knew so little about genetics that they thought that physical deformities incurred during one’s life would be passed on to the next generation. The parents chose the husband. The father was not allowed in the room during his wife’s delivery. The thing that I was most curious about, however, was how the film seemed to mask criticism of Chairman Mao beneath humor, as when they carted in the doctor to save their daughter even though he had been condemned as an enemy of the Communist Party.
The movie was really good, and it showed a different light on communism although I don’t agree with it. They showed it as everyone getting food, everyone happy, etc. However, in general, communism was nothing like that. The movie did teach a lot about culture, however which I liked. For example, the red eggs and arranged marriages. I did just learn that you are suppose to offer food when someone dies. It is very interesting. The movie overall was really good.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. The characters became so real by the end of the movie that their deaths were extremely tragic. I think the movie was so real for me because I didn’t really know very much about the Cultural Revolution in China. So I would basically have soaked up any information that they might have thrown out at me. The mix of well-developed characters with a strong base of history created an easily believable plotline. Overall, I wasn’t that shocked by anything that happened because I didn’t really know much to ! begin with. I was rather surprised with the devotion of the townspeople to Chairman Mao; his face was everywhere. Also, the severity of the consequences for criticizing his name or the face of communism was almost unreal. I’m glad we got the chance to watch this movie.
“To Live” is emotionally disturbing, yet provokes sensitive, sympathetic feelings in each viewer. The many tragic events sprinkled throughout the movie provoked sadness, confusion, and disgust. The loss of the daughter’s voice helped bring out the protective, loving side of her brother, but at the same time, caused him grief and anger with his father. This reminded me of traditional teenage rebellious angst against their parents. The battle between father and son over right and wrong eventually led to the accidental murder of the son. From this tragic incident, I learned that it is much better to talk about your anger and feelings in life than keep them hidden from loved ones until it is too late. I personally felt grief and confusion for the family, as if those events had happened in my life. The actors portrayed their characters realistically, and did not make the story sound impractical. However, the strange coincidences that the family encounters throughout the movie contribute to the idea that the story is fictional This movie was permeating with spirituality and the strength of one’s soul. It’s a great movie to watch, but not on a rainy day or when you’re having a bad day because there are too many tragic events and lifelong struggles to comprehend. Overall, I would recommend this movie to an audience that is of age to understand the spiritual revolution of the characters, and to an audience that is willing to put compassion into their viewing. This movie requires not only your eyes, but also your heart.
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