Directed by Xie Jin. With Shi Jianlan, Wang Fuli, Shi Weijian
China 1980, 35mm, color, 127 min. Mandarin with English subtitles
Xie Jin traces the vicissitudes of political upheaval in the People’s Republic from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s by mapping them onto the shifting relations between two friends from college and the man they both fall for. Rather than schematic allegory, Xie fashions a moving, intimate look at lives ruined by purges and ideological revision.Legend of Tianyun Mountain was among the first films to depict the injustices of the anti-Rightist campaign of the late 1950s, thus placing the Cultural Revolution in a historical context and commencing a practice of looking back at the past critically that would be taken up by the Fifth Generation filmmakers. This stance by Xie was brave but also practical, since it allowed him to separate himself from the now-disgraced Gang of Four with whom he had become identified.
The "Xie Jin, Before and After the Cultural Revolution” series is presented in collaboration with the Harvard Film Archive, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and coincides with "The Cultural Revolution and Cinema: An International Symposium" taking place on Saturday, April 16 from 9:30am to 5:30pm in CGIS South Building Room S020 at 1730 Cambridge Street.