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23 Ratings


芳华 | Fang Hua

Directed by Feng Xiaogang
China, 2017


Set in a military art troupe in 1970s China, Feng Xiaogang’s latest is a coming-of-age story about young people making peace with the past and making the most of the present.

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Youth Directed by Feng Xiaogang
Mainland Chinese cinema is bloated with youth romances wallowing in '90s nostalgia, yet this pivotal stage in life has never appeared as pure, beatific and cruel as depicted in "Youth," the latest from Chinese box office king Feng Xiaogang. Tracking the tempestuous fates of a People's Liberation Army (PLA) dance troupe from the Cultural Revolution to the '90s, the film serves as a paean to idealism and endurance, yet the word "heart-breaking" comes to mind scene after scene.
September 09, 2017
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What we're left with is the story of two people who knew each other often in their youth, but only really became friends years later, though they would met only a few times, years apart. Or rather, it's the story of a person who knew two people, once. It's a warm, at times lovely film packed with stirring music and dance and at least twice the humanity of The Thousand Faces of Dunjia.
January 09, 2018
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Based on this film . . . I can understand why Feng is sometimes called "China's Spielberg." Youth is formally impressive and heavy-handed: it's clearly designed to be a crowd-pleaser. Like Steven Spielberg, Feng balances humanism and period spectacle in a seductive manner, immersing viewers in the historical setting while forging strong emotional bonds with the principal characters.
January 03, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • msmichel's rating of the film Youth

    Following up the largely experimental and audacious 'I Am Not Madame Bovary', Feng Xiaogang has made his most conventional film here with this tale of a military arts troupe in 70s China. The script seems unable to focus and often feels edited down from a longer more substantial work. The young cast of newcomers do well and production values are strong but in the end the film felt uninvolving and unfocused.

  • Martin De Martin's rating of the film Youth

    Un’opera monumentale, sia negli intenti che nella realizzazione: dalla drammaticità narrativa di alcuni fatti storici agli incredibili pianosequenza delle scene di guerra, il regista cinese realizza il suo film più riuscito, non tanto per il valore documentale o per la confezione in sé quanto per il gran cuore e la mole di emozioni che riesce a trasudare ogni singolo fotogramma. Ad un passo dal capolavoro.

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