Comment: To Live

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To Live

The film was banned in mainland China by the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television due to its critical portrayal of various policies and campaigns of the Communist government. In addition, producer Zhang was banned from filmmaking for two years.

This is the chronicle, largely, of one Chinese family surviving government including government administered health care. It has superb acting and subtitles.

From one review, "this film is so beautiful and so real, that it's unbearably heartbreaking at times. Every time I watch it, and I know a particular heartbreaking scene is coming up, I almost want to turn it off, but I'm just frozen in place, forced to experience the pain of the people on screen, that I've traveled three decades with. Zhang's understanding of the people of China, and the tragedy of history is full of empathy, respect, and adoration. In every scene, Gong Li embodies strength and beauty. Zhang's study of communism and of the Chinese government, isn't a villifying one sided argument, but one with complete understanding of the tragedy of this huge social experiment, that effected not only China, but the whole world." One thing I liked is that a couple of Communist leaders, the head of the commune and the son-in-law are good hearted people working in a terrible system.