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559 Ratings

Mountains May Depart

山河故人 | Shan he gu ren

Directed by Jia Zhangke
China, France, 2015


From China to Australia, the lives, loves, hopes and disillusions of three individuals in a society changing at breakneck speed.

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Mountains May Depart Directed by Jia Zhangke
Never developing a sense of some potential to be corrupted, the relationship between Jinsheng and Tao lacks anything like pathos, with Jinsheng verging on the ridiculous in his final scenes, wearing a pasted-on moustache. . . . Where Mountains May Depart cuts cleanest and deepest, perhaps unsurprisingly, is when it’s focused on Zhao Tao, Jia’s partner and creative collaborator since they met during the casting of Platform.
January 03, 2018
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Jia ultimately believes that China’s future may be clarified through endurance, wisdom and a resilient connection with the past. Tao ultimately embodies this dynamic combination. Mountains May Depart respects many lives she’s led, and the many she failed to. Despite the film’s focus on yearning and separation, it expresses a belief that all aspects of Chinese life can be aligned yet again, like a perfect dance routine choreographed to the right song.
March 29, 2016
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The film is a fascinating, if uneven, blend of melodrama, allegory, and elements of near-future sci-fi. It also serves as a star vehicle for the director’s regular muse and wife Tao Zhao. Her magnetic performance as Tao, the film’s ambitious and morally ambiguous protagonist is the film’s emotional anchor.
February 22, 2016
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