Asia and the Pacific Screens
Yellow Earth 黄土地
5:30pm - 7:30pm
03 Jun 2014
The Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU
Directed by Chen Kaige 陈凯歌
1984, 89 minutes
In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
This special film event commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Protest Movement at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the nationwide crackdown on 4 June 1989.
In 1939, Gu Qing, a propaganda cadre in the Eighth Route Army, comes to a poor village on the Yellow Earth Plateau to collect folk songs. There he meets Cui Qiao, a young girl due to enter an arranged marriage. Gu’s tales of an equal Communist society inspire Cui, who asks him to take her to Yan’an to join the army. Gu promises to return to fetch her after getting permission from the Army. But when he fails to return, Cui decides to cross the Yellow River to seek out the army herself. Marking the emergence of the Chinese New Wave in 1985, Yellow Earth is emblematic of the passions and discontents of China’s 1980s. Its bold and elegiac cinematography, set in China’s sparse and harsh hinterland, its reinvigoration of the Plateau’s rich musical traditions, and its mournful political critique of the Party’s unfulfilled promises has made it a masterpiece of contemporary cinema.
The film screening will be followed by a short discussion.
This film is part of the monthly film series Asia and the Pacific Screens, sponsored by the Australian Centre on China in the World.