This film has a long history. It was shortlisted for Cannes International Film Festival last year.
It emerged from 1050 films and became the closing film of the film critic week unit in 2019. It was the first time that a Chinese film was selected as the closing film in the 57 years since the unit was founded, and was nominated for the golden camera award.
Of course, we dont talk about this film because its so powerful. Its mainly because the story it tells is closely related to our life and family. Its so grounded that people suspect that the director installed a camera on his body (a film critics comment).
The film tells the story of three generations of a family in Fuyang, Hangzhou. It starts with four sons giving their mother a birthday, showing the family affection and the struggle for interests in a big family.
Support for the elderly, daughters marriage, brotherhood, intergenerational conflicts, as well as the friction and warmth between family members come in a stream, which is an extremely concentrated family novel.
Watching this film is like looking at our own family.
The film is not a big production. Even 95% of the actors are the directors family members and relatives. When they speak in dialect and their parents are worried about their livelihood and fighting for interests, you will find that this is our life? Their difficulties are also the ones we are facing.
Gu Xiaogang, who was born in 1988, was young, but he saw the family conflicts and put the scandal of his family onto the screen.
With four sons, are you afraid that no one will raise them? Afraid!
Old age is a big problem.
The main problem faced by the protagonist in spring river is who is responsible for the support of the old lady.
Mrs. Gu is 70 years old and has four sons. A year ago, when the old man died, she was devastated. In order to make the old lady happy, her four sons specially held her 70th birthday.
At the birthday party, joy played, sons and grandchildren, relatives and friends, neighbors, local merchants and so on all came to celebrate the birthday, it was very lively.
But unexpectedly, the old lady fainted when she was happy.
The old lady had Alzheimers disease and couldnt take care of herself in the following life.
Who will take care of the old lady?
None of the four sons was able to take over the task. After considering it, the old lady can only go to live in the eldest sons house and be taken care of by the eldests daughter-in-law, fengjuan.
Once, fengjuan took the medicine for the old lady and talked with her
Without hesitation, the old lady said, to me. I will accompany you. He will listen to me most.
After hearing this, fengjuan was very disappointed and said bitterly, Im so obedient. Im not promising. Im going to serve you!?!
This is the contradiction of the family, which gradually intensifies in comparison and imbalance.
How many large families can not accommodate each other in order to support the elderly, for nothing else, is because of uneven distribution. There was no big deal, but there was something wrong with it.
How can children get an average score in caring for the elderly? This thorny problem has baffled many families.
The same is true for the old lady, whose four sons cant take care of her in a balanced way. She can only be sent to a nursing home.
The second wants to hire a nanny, so that the old lady still lives in the eldest sons house and is taken care of by the nanny. But as soon as the old lady saw the nanny, she would make trouble, beat the nanny and run out.
Finally, the eldest brother and the second one are ready to entrust an acquaintance to send the old mother to an approved nursing home.
Clearly it is reunion, but the family is counting on separation. This should be the moon has Yin and Qing, Yang is missing, people have joys and sorrows..
When people get old, they have to face the problem of no one to take care of. This is the reality of how many families!
Children want to be filial, but there are also hidden difficulties, or busy work, or conditions are not allowed. No one does anything wrong, just cant solve the problem.
I really admire director Gu Xiaogang. He can find the crux of his family so young. He repeats the eternal proposition set out by the Japanese director Yasuo Koizumi in the tale of Tokyo: where should parents go when their children get married?
Later, Gus mother went to the nursing home and forgot about her years among a group of strangers.
One scene in the film is particularly touching. As a gambler, his third son finally made money and went to the nursing home to see his mother.
At this time, it was the new year, the old mother sat alone on the stool in the nursing home, dozing off. The third son looked from afar and called for his mother. But my mother is still sleeping.
The old mother didnt recognize him.
When the old people lose their memory and even forget their children, it is so sad.
Finally, Gus old mother lost her memory and lost her. She did not come back, and reunited with her wife on Fuchun River.
For the old lady, this life is not easy, married two men, gave birth to four sons, experienced the vicissitudes of life, a year before her death suffered from Alzheimers disease.
For an old lady, having a child is not only a way to reproduce, but also an old man to depend on. Her requirements for the children are also very simple, honest, hard work is good.
Gu Xi, the eldest daughter of Gu family, returned to her hometown Fuyang after finishing college and worked as a teacher in a school.
Her parents are worried about her marriage and want her to marry the son of director Wang, who is rich and powerful. But Gu Xi didnt listen and fell in love with Jiang Yi, a middle school teacher.
For this, Gu Xis mother fengjuan got angry and drove her daughter out of the house, ignoring her for months.
On the day of the Mid Autumn Festival, Gu Xi and her boyfriend Jiang Yi went to visit their parents, hoping to make up with their mother. Unexpectedly, her mother was still angry and drove her away.
Gu Xi said angrily, if you drive him away, I will go with him.
His mother said directly, if you go with him, you wont go home for the rest of your life.
Does mother love her daughter? Definitely love.
Does the daughter love her mother? Must love.
But they still hurt each other because of their pursuit of difference. Mother wants her daughter to live a happy life, but her understanding of happiness has a premise - material abundance. The daughter thinks that happiness can only be achieved by being with the person you like.
In the film, Gu Xi and her boyfriend Jiang Yi have a dialogue, which accurately summarizes the contradictions between the two generations.
Jiang Yi said: their turbulent times have given them too much material insecurity. Therefore, they have to plan their childrens work, life and family, hoping that their children will be around them all their lives and be healthy babies.
However, they are very depressed that their children are ungrateful to them and quarrel with them every day, because their children do not want to be their accessories.
You see, this is the generation gap. No matter how much parents pay, children are ungrateful. Children want to have their own lives.
There is a deep generation gap among the three generations of Gu family. The estrangement between the old mother and her four sons is old, no son to take care of.. The estrangement between Gus eldest son and his daughter is he wants to control his daughters marriage, but his daughter doesnt follow..
The film is very true to show the intergenerational contradictions, and presents these frictions without reservation.
However, in the family full of contradictions, still full of warmth.
Although Gu Xi couldnt get the support of her parents, Gus old mother was extremely considerate of her granddaughter and said to her granddaughter earnestly, one should be with the people you like all your life. Otherwise, regret for a lifetime!
Although the old mother did not remember, she was not confused. She pointed out a bright way for her granddaughter.
Whats more, he is a famous prodigal, but he is the most loyal one. He took the old mother home from the nursing home. He had to take care of his son and serve the old mother. He didnt complain a word.
Gu Xiyi married a poor teacher without hesitation. Her parents opposed the marriage and did not attend her daughters wedding on the boat. As a third uncle, the third brother quietly walked to the shore and watched her niece go away in the boat.
In this regard, spring river water is particularly good. It seems that there are always contradictions, barriers, and sad things. But the last thought, the aftertaste is love.
Its so real! Its like looking at my family
In the days after watching Spring River is warm, I am often immersed in subtle, long-lasting and real emotions, which reminds me of my big family and my parents.
My grandmother is 87 years old and she has four sons. Compared with Gus grandmother, she is lucky. She is healthy, her wife is alive, and her four sons are also filial.
In the eyes of the outsider, we are a family of four generations, and we are extremely happy. But being in it will know that every family has its unspeakable pain.
Life is hard. Its the same for everyone.
So when I saw the protagonist in the film shed tears because of the difficulties, I was deeply touched and wept silently.
I believe that not only I will be moved by this film, but also the audience who have seen it. Because this film will remind us of many family events in our lives and evoke a kind of helplessness and sadness.
In addition, as a professional film critic, I also want to boast about the aesthetic style of this film. Its really strange.
It does not have the grand narration of Zhang Yimous style, the romantic romance of Chen Kaiges style, and the utility of the current genre films. However, it has the most simple and real emotion and is shown in the style of Chinese landscape painting.
In the film, many scenes have a landscape painting style of emptiness, indifference and beauty. Watching this film, quite a walk into Huang Gongwangs Fu Chun Shan Ju Tu artistic conception.
For a few moments, I saw the shadow of Ozu, Hou Xiaoxian and shizhiyuhe in this film, telling a real family story in a simple environment.
It can be said that the story and style of this film are Oriental and humanistic.
In addition, Dou Weis soundtrack simply made the film upgrade a lot. I didnt expect that the music of a man in Beijing would be natural with the landscape of Zhejiang.
No wonder this film will win so many awards, the role of Dou Wei can not be ignored.
Charles Tyson, director of Cannes film critic week, praised the film as a Chinese film you have never seen before
This is a work that people really love at first sight. With the change of nature and seasons, the life of a river and the fate of a family are flowing slowly.
The incomparably exquisite lens and scheduling achieve perfect fluency, inject a calm sense of breath into the film, and eulogize the eternal combination of the world mood and landscape.