Love Movie

Mountains May Depart The mountains and rivers are fading away, the old people are here

The Hills and the River. The title of this movie first attracted me. The two phrases “mountains and rivers” and “deceased people” draw out a kind of imagery of changes over the years, and that things are different from people: the mountains and rivers are always the same, can the deceased people always be here? It also gives people an inexplicable warmth and sense of belonging, just like the red charcoal fire and the laughter that used to come to mind when one is walking alone in the cold rainy night. The film is a very good example of how to get the most out of a film.

The plot of the movie is not complicated. In the small county of Fenyang, Shanxi, cheerful and lively girl Shen Tao, smart and capable Zhang Jinsheng, simple and self-respecting Liang, the three of them are playing together since childhood, good friends, and slowly developed an ambiguous love triangle relationship. Shen Tao chose Zhang Jinsheng, Liang Zi far away from home. A few years later, Shen Tao Zhang Jinsheng divorced, and Liang Zi returned home with a disease. Then later, Zhang Jinsheng and his grown children settled in Australia, also struggling. Liang Zi did not reappear and may not be alive anymore, only the twilight Shen Tao alone is still waiting in his hometown.

From the point of view of the plot content, “The Hills and Rivers” has no suspense, as normal as the lives of people around you and me. Jia Zhangke does not seem to give the camera too much emotion and tendency, but only calmly and restrainedly records the lives of the main characters from youth to middle age, and then gradually towards old age. The timeline of the film is very clear, capturing three points: 1999, 2014 and 2025.

In 1999, the story begins in a disco in Fenyang. Tao, Zhang Jinsheng, Liang Zi and a group of friends dance happily in a circle. At this moment, they are energetic and vigorous, their bright smiling faces reflecting the infinite hope and beauty of youth. But as Tao chooses Zhang Jinsheng, the stable triangle of friendships is broken, and Liang Zi, who has lost in love, locks the door to his room, throws away the key, and leaves for another country.

Then the camera pans around and it’s straight to 2014. Tao has divorced Zhang Jinsheng, and the children are living in Shanghai with Zhang Jinsheng. Tao’s father dies, and his 7-year-old son Zhang arrives home to mourn, but is a stranger to his mother and hometown. Liang also dragged his family back home, but unfortunately did not on the show the return of the king, anyway, is seriously ill, poor, Tao picked him up.

The last paragraph is 2025, mainly about the life of Jinsheng and his son to Le (dollar) in Australia. They are well fed and clothed, living in a beautiful house with a sea view but living a life that does not go well. The westernized son is already at odds with his Chinese father, and even communication depends on Google Translate. Zhang Jinsheng is like a trapped beast in a cage. He has bought a gun but cannot find his enemy, and is like a duckweed without roots.

From 1999 to 2025, a span of 26 years, Jia Zhangke only intercepts three years to present. But strangely enough, when watching the film, there is no sense of discontinuity, only that everything happens naturally, like following the camera to watch a slowly flowing river, seeing the mountains on both sides, the trees on the roadside, and even some random pebbles scattered on the sand. Of course, this is also the director’s skill.

The Hills and Rivers” allows us to truly see that this is life, the life of millions of ordinary people. We can see the decision of individual choice on fate, and we can also see the huge wheel of the development of the times crushing the individual, and there is also the sculpture of people by the knife of time. It will make people feel for a moment the powerlessness of life, mixed with the slightest sense of pain and sadness.

The last part of the movie is the finishing touch to the whole movie. Good work is so, seemingly inadvertent details, but has the power to move the hearts of the most. At this moment, the same music, the same dance will span 26 years of time and space superimposed together, then the youthful, now the dying, then the passion and beauty, now the loneliness and helplessness, no need to say a word, all the flavor of life in this cycle is reflected in the best way.

But I do not think Jia Zhangke director is a pessimistic and vain person, the truth of life despite the cruelty, but he still shaped Tao this warm and resilient image. On the surface, Tao is an unfortunate person: friends, divorce, loss of children, loss of father. But her heart is always full of warmth and determination, and that wheat dumpling is her watchword. She accepts everything that life gives her and keeps her hometown and her original heart. Her rough experiences and the passing years still can’t erase her heavy vitality.

What is the best life? The Bible says three words: faith, hope and love. Have faith in yourself, hope for the future, and love in your heart at all times. To put it in a current buzzword, it probably means something like having a path under your feet and light in your heart, right? Indeed, life is hard, this is the motivation, but also the source.

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