Fengming, or Mrs He, lived through the whole of turbulent recent Chinese history. She wrote a book that documents the harsh realities of her life, which is set against a crucial turning point in Chinese history, that of the of year of 1957, a year when moderate forces lost to communist forces in China.
The filmmaker gives the woman sufficient space she needs to tell her story, that is why the film is over three hours long. Wang Bing listens closely to the woman and also manages to make the viewer do the same. The simple form gradually even becomes a precondition to preserve the emotional power of her life story.
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