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Movie Review: The Golden Era

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 The Golden Era is brought to you by Clover Films and have been screening in Singapore since 16th October
Though it might not be a movie to be enjoyed by the masses, it does have its own captivating audience
Like fans of Tang Wei, Feng Shao Feng and lovers of Chinese literature

Set in the periods of 1911 to the Japanese occupation in China,
viewers who have a great understanding of Chinese History will thoroughly enjoy the movie
If you’re a normal movie-goer, you may find the film mundane and perhaps not being able to appreciate the poetic language used
and you will likely focus on the love story of the leading actor and actress instead

When I read the synopsis of the Golden Era (included below)
I knew it was going to be deep and requires a full 3 hours of my concentration
Yes, the movie is 3 hours long
As I went through the details of the film in my head again, I didn’t think that any scenes can be removed
The 3 hours is definitely required to portray the life account of Xiao Hong that significantly highlights how her courage has brought her to live the life she wanted
& how fate has it that sometimes, you can’t have everything, there ought to be sacrifices..

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Award winning actress Tang Wei rocked the role as Xiao Hong
A true biography account of a writer who had lived in Harbin and gradually moved to other areas of China in her short lifetime
She left bits and pieces of papers (short stories) after her death at the age of 31 and The Golden Era stringed these pieces together to document memoirs of her

The movie left me thinking very deeply… and relating to personal life events
– At that golden era, was it normal to fight for your own independence?
– From the time she ran away from the arranged marriage to the time of her death, that was probably just a span of 10 years She had 2 pregnancies that she had to handle alone and she was able to trust different men over and over again despite having her heart broken so many times
– I can’t imagine dying today at 31, there’s still so many things undone in life
Yet for Xiao Hong, she has already accomplished much by 31
– How could she have dealt with all the ambiguities in life? Doesn’t she need answers? Pertaining to her life partner Xiao Jun (portrayed by Feng Shao Feng) when there was no intention to marry her and he would allow his ego to overcome his love for her

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I’ll leave you to explore this movie for now….

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Synopsis

The writer we now know as Xiao Hong was born Zhang Naiying on the day of the 1911 Dragon Boat Festival (June 1st) in Manchuria, north-east China. Her mother died when Xiao Hong was young and her estrangement from her tyrannical father sparked a long quest for an independent and emotionally satisfying life. She was rescued from destitution by hard-drinking fellow writer Xiao Jun, but their fraught and competitive relationship brought her more heartache than joy. She found a kindly and considerate surrogate father in the great writer Lu Xun. While evacuated to safer inland areas to escape the Japanese invasion of China – and on the rebound from what turned out to be the definitive break with Xiao Jun – she married another novelist from the North-east, Duanmu Hongliang. They fled together to Hong Kong in 1940. A month after Hong Kong, too, fell to the Japanese on Christmas Day of 1941, Xiao Hong died of tuberculosis at the age of 31. But several key episodes in her life remain obscure and disputed, even now.

Cast

Tang Wei, Feng Shao Feng

Directed by Ann Hui

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Watch the Trailer here:

 

  • 71st Venice Film Festival Closing Film
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Masters Selection
  • Busan International Film Festival 2014 Gala Presentation
  •  Selected as the Hong Kong entry for the 87th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film

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We should all live by Xiao Hong’s attitude in life
Live how you would want your life to be~

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