The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aftershock / Tangshan dadizhen





2010 release from China that recounts the horrific events of the 1976 earthquake that killed 240,000 people living in Tangshan at the time.

The first, few minutes of this film take you directly into the danger zone, it poignantly introduces you to the people and lifestyle of the times, and then bam! Amazing f/x show you just what happened on that fateful, hot night over thirty years ago.

Beyond that, we are left to watch a poor woman struggle with the decision of which child to save - her son or daughter - both trapped on either side of a heavy, concrete beam.

The little girl is alive to hear that decision, and once the arm-amputated boy is handed to his mother, the draped daughter is laid out beside her dead father on the side of the road.

After the mother hurries off to an army truck with the unconscious boy, the little girl revives and sits up, looking around her at the chaos going on in the middle of the night.

She ends up being taken care of by an army sergeant who happens to be married, and the couple are unable to have their own children, so they adopt the girl after spending a good deal of time searching for a surviving relative.

Much later, and when the Chengdu quake strikes, she is living with her husband and daughter in Canada, and at once, she decides to return to China as a relief worker.

While stumbling through the rubble, her memory is jogged, and as fate would have it, as she is sipping on some coffee, she overhears another aid worker describing what it was like to have lived through the Tangshan quake.

Inthe midst of harrowing and deja vu circumstances, brother and sister are reunited.

I cried.

I cried in the first, ten minutes of this movie, and I cried just about throughout as well.

The director did a marvelous job recounting that awful, historic event, and even if he tried a bit, too hard to make the national army look heroic, I liked that he made everyone 'human' and not communist drones.

I was a little girl when this occurred, but I can still remember our school going on a campaign to collect money and clothing that was shipped off to the relief effort - so to watch a movie based on that event made me feel slightly a part of it, and that was kind of cool.

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