The China of the forties. Devoid of both money and family as a result of excessive gambling, Fugui teams up with his friend Chunsheng in a shadow theatre company thanks to which they earn some kind of a living. After the communist victory of the civil war, Fugui gets back together with his estranged wife, Jiazhen. The theatre company contributes to the revolution by boosting people's morale as everyone is participating in the unsuccessful attempt at economic renewal known as the Great Leap Forward. As if things weren't bad enough, the death of Fugui's son in an accident caused by Chunsheng puts a cloud over the couple's happiness. The Cultural Revolution breaks out and the doctors are all sent to work in the countryside, so that when the time comes for Fugui's daughter, Fengxia, to give birth, there are only students to look after her and she dies of a haemorrhage nobody is able to stop. Fugui and Jiazhen, now aged, find their reason to live in the education of their grandchild.
Lu Wei , Yu Hua
Ge You, Gong Li, Niu Ben, Guo Tao
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