Wen Jiang’s personality takes center stage in The Sun Also Rises, his first effort since the 2000 Devils on the Doorstep, a film that has yet to be released in China. While The Sun Also Rises captivates with its sumptuous colors, magical realism, high energy, and outstanding performances, its elliptical plot and lack of coherent narrative suggests that Jiang may have purposely clouded the film’s meaning in symbols and code to escape the Chinese censors. Loosely based on author Ye Mi’s novel Velvet, the film is set in China during the Cultural Revolution. There are four stories and six characters in the film, but they have a tenuous connection to each other.
Three episodes are set in the 1970s and one twenty years earlier, but Jiang provides no intertitles or other indicators to help the viewer recognize changes in theme, time, or place. As the film opens with a tableau of gorgeous colors and people running, a young woman (Zhou Yun) identified as the mother of a teenage boy (Jaycee Chan) buys a pair of embroidered shoes. The colorful shoes are promptly stolen by a mysterious bird, which repeats the mantra “I know, I know, I know,” and the woman falls into what seems to be madness—climbing trees, collecting rocks, digging a pit in the middle of the forest, and screaming the name of Alyosha (which we eventually learn was the name of the boy’s father). Meanwhile her dutiful son tries to protect her, at the cost of having to constantly leave his job. The segment is playful, magical, and poetic in its songs and poetry, and it suggests that insanity reigned supreme during the Cultural Revolution. —IMDb
Jiang Wen (born January 5, 1963) is a Chinese film actor and director. Born in Tangshan, Hebei province into an army family, he shifted to Beijing at the age of 6. In 1980, Wen entered China’s foremost acting school, the Central Academy of Drama, graduating in 1984. That same year he started acting both on the stage (with the China Youth Theater) and in films.
After appearing in many television serials and films, Jiang became renowned in China for his starring role in the 1992 TV series Beijingers in New York, which made him one of the best-loved actors of his generation. In addition to these he also starred in Hibiscus Town (1984, directed by Xie Jin), Black Snow (1990, directed by Xie Fei), The Emperor’s Shadow (1996, directed by Zhou Xiaowen) and The Soong Sisters (1997). Other than Red Sorghum, Jiang also collaborated with Zhang Yimou for his 1997 film Keep Cool.
Jiang wrote and directed his first film in 1994, In the Heat of the Sun, adapted from a novel by Wang Shuo… read more
since the start, it shows a new way for contemporary chinese cinema, a path that will be followed by young directors as lu chuan, guan hu, ning hao, which are the best in depicting what chinese cinema is, now. and that's due to jiang's sun also rises. also, the movie in itaself is a magical voyage into the lives of some characters shot in what could be calle "a state of grace" by its director.