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244 Ratings

Yellow Earth

Huang tu di

Directed by Chen Kaige
China, 1984
Drama, Musical


A communist soldier is sent to a remote region of China in order to collect folk songs. Staying with a peasant family (a widower with two small children), he discovers a community whose way of life is completely alien to him, but he gradually wins their trust…

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Yellow Earth Directed by Chen Kaige

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

1985 | Winner: Silver Leopard

1985 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

BFI London Film Festival

1985 | Winner: Sutherland Trophy

Hawaii International Film Festival

1985 | Winner: Best Narrative (East-West Center Award)

Critics reviews

Although not actually banned in China, the film’s suffocating atmospherics, stark evocation of rural life, burning images and open ending provoked deep disquiet in China’s Film Bureau. These same elements mark Yellow Earth as an important step away from the orthodoxies of Maoist cinema, an attempt at serious cinematic reflection in an environment where much still had to remain unsaid.
May 01, 2015
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