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A young dancer is accepted to an elite artistic group performing for the soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. It is the 1970s, the time of the Cultural Revolution. The barracts the artists are stationed in create an idyllic enclave, where they can focus on improving their skills, mutual rivalry, traveling to guest performances, budding romances, and buzzing adolescent emotions. Some refuse to talk about their far-away families, others secretly listen to forbidden music. Some of them meets several years later on the front lines of the Sino-Vietnamese war.
How to reminisce about your youth if it coincided with one of the most traumatic periods in the country's history? The director and the screenwriter found a way to turn their memories into a nostalgic, melodramatic story, filled with layers of subtexts. Bathed in warm light, the frames bewitch with their atmosphere of ease, young idealism and passion, but they are lined with melancholy captured in the bits of conversations and the shorts scenes showing the outside world. The filmmakers showed this difficult time from an unusual point of view, creating a complex picture of the generation coming of age at that era. The remarkable cinematography and moving performances brought the filmmakers numerous awards, and the movie was deemed as one of the most important Chinese productions of 2017.
Born in 1958 in Beijing, he began his film career as a set designer in a military artistic group. In the 1980s, he started working for television, where he was also a set designer, and simultaneously started writing. In the 1990s, he debuted as a director, quickly becoming a specialist in the so-called New Year's films, hesui pian. Most of them turned to be big hits. As the creator of popular genre films, he became know as the "Chinese Spielberg."
1994 Yong shi wo ai / Lost My Love
2001 Pogrzeb grubej ryby / Da wan / Big Shot's Funeral
2004 Świat bez złodziei / Tian xia wu zei / A World Without Thieves
2006 Banquet: 100 dni cesarza / Ye yan / The Banquet
2007 Ostatnia bitwa / Ji jie hao / Assembly
2008 A jeśli to ty / Fei cheng wu rao / If You Are the One
2016 Pani Bovary to nie ja / I Am Not Madame Bovary
2017 Młodość / Fang hua / Youth