ERA International (HK) Ltd. Presents
In Association with Shanghai Film Studios
Producer: Chiu Fusheng
Executive Producers: Kow Fuhong and Christopher Tseng
Associate Producer: Barbara Robinson
Adaptation from Yu Hua's novel
Script: Yu Hua and Lu Wei
Screenplay: Lu Wei
Director of Photography: Lu Yue
Art Direction: Cao Jiuping
Sound: Tao Jiping
Music: Zhao Jiping
Editor: Du Yuan
Starring: Ge You - Gong Li
Directed by Zhang Yimou
You've lost again.
Not one lucky toss all night.
Chalk it up.
I've run up a pile of debts lately.
But my calligraphy's improving.
Long'er, you neglect your troupe.
But not my money. They sound like a pack of mules.
They're too tired. Been at it all night.
Why don't you have a go? Show them what it takes.
Business is good, Mr. Xie.
Come often. You're always welcome.
Old Man Heaven
Don't make it so late
Me and my lover
want more time
To frolic in our great big bed
Long'er, you're nearly there.
One more night like this...
you'll have him right where you want him.
Sure there's no mistake?
Look at the records.
Master Fugui is going home. You take him.
Take care, Master.
Welcome home, sir.
Degenerate! Another night gambling!
A dog's gotta eat shit! Little bastard!
If you don't stop...
we'll lose the little we have.
Aren't you capable of anything else?
Is gambling all you know?
Of all you could have learned, bastard!
Little bastards from big bastards grow.
I learned all I know from you.
How do you think we lost most of what we had in the first place?
You're the one they call big bastard, Xu, not me!
Will you cut it out?
- What'd he just say? - Nothing. Eat.
Mother, when you finish, send him to his room.
Grandpa's cursing you again.
He's just singing to himself.
It's not good for the baby.
You said you wouldn't gamble if I got pregnant.
Who was gambling? I went to watch.
What are you crying for?
If nothing else, can't you think of the baby?
Let me wipe your tears.
I'm not your father. I can't be fooled.
All right, do it yourself. But please don't cry.
I've said all there is to say.
Can't you listen just this once? Quit gambling.
It's like kicking an opium habit, you know.
Too fast, and boing, you snap! Could kill you.
Can't rush these things.
Fengxia's growing up. Another's on the way.
I'm not asking much.
Only to live a quiet life together.
Fugui, you choose. Gambling or family?
Your win, Master Fugui.
My luck's changed.
Write that down. Another round.
Master Fugui, your wife's here.
What are you doing here?
Mr. Long'er says if you're busy he'll take a rain check.
No, have him wait. I'll be right there.
This is the last time, okay? I promise.
Go home, go.
get a rickshaw to take my wife home. I'm...
Master Fugui, you lost.
Come, give Mrs. Xu a seat.
Fugui, for the last time.
Why don't you go home? There'll be other times.
Your wife is right here.
What's with you? Can't take "no" for an answer?
You want to make me lose face? Go away!
Don't worry about her.
Get out of my sight!
Master Fugui, you're out of the game.
You've lost everything.
What do you mean?
You bet your property. It's equal to what you owe Long'er.
You don't have a roof tile to your name.
What is it?
Master Fugui must settle his account.
It's all in order, I'll be going.
Master Fugui, don't think badly of me...
for leaving you homeless.
But I sure like that mansion of yours.
See you there in a few days.
You can't just win and walk away.
The game's not over yet!
Master Fugui, I'm sorry...
but you've nothing left. What would you wager?
If you're unhappy, talk to Mr. Xie.
This can't be happening!
What are you doing?
It's not over yet!
- Sit down! - You planned all this, didn't you?
- Sit. - Just one more round!
I am very sorry, but you've got nothing left.
What could you stake the bet on? We don't accept empty bets.
I'll stake my life.
Don't talk like that.
Anyway, your life's worth little now.
Not that we'd accept it as ante.
We'll formalize the transfer in a few days...
and explain to your old man.
Just settle everything, okay?
We'll settle everything then.
Your wife's been waiting for ages.
I just wanted to tell you...
you'll never change. I can't live like this.
I'm taking Fengxia with me.
If the baby is a boy...
I won't let him be like you.
Master Fugui, I'll take you.
- What are you doing? - Master Fugui.
I have nothing left.
63, 73, 83...
Mr. Xu, any mistakes?
No, Fugui's signature is on each one.
Long'er, is our Xu family home...
enough to settle Fugui's debt?
A gambling debt's a debt, and debts must be paid.
Everyone's here today.
So let's do what must be done.
The Xu family home...
goes to Long'er.
And the debt is hereby settled.
Both sides must sign.
I thought I'd live my final days here.
Turtle spawn! I'll kill him!
I'll cut him into pieces! I'll clobber him!
I'll never forgive you!
I'll never forgive you!
I want him dead!
It's valuable. Don't scratch it. Take it slowly.
Careful, slowly. Don't move too fast!
Don't break anything!
Your mother's not well. Go now, for her sake.
I'll look after her for a few days?
Until you're set up elsewhere.
Want me to help you?
Needles and threads for sale!
Jiazhen's come home.
Come look at your son.
He looks like you.
No, like Jiazhen.
What's his name?
He'll never gamble.
Who chose that name?
Very good, very good.
I don't gamble now. Not even in my next life.
I know. Or I wouldn't have come back.
Is his name really "Don't Gamble"?
I was just teasing Fugui. It's Youqing.
Jiazhen, it's great to have you back.
I'd heard you'd had a boy, and were living at home.
But I was too ashamed to see you.
Let's put the past behind us...
and live peacefully.
I've paid the rent with mother's jewelry.
It's crowded with all of us here.
I'll tidy up tomorrow. We'll be fine.
Mother's feeling better.
Normally she doesn't even get out of bed.
Dad didn't give me much money...
but she needs a doctor.
We'll work something out.
I'll borrow money to set up a shop.
Life won't be easy.
Don't say that.
All I ask is a quiet life together.
A rare visitor indeed.
Master Fugui! It's been a year at least.
Just call me Fugui.
This old home of yours is great.
Warm in winter, cool in summer.
Great at any price.
I've given up the puppet troupe.
Have a seat.
I don't gamble anymore. Don't want to end up like you.
"Don't Gamble" is my son's name.
You mocking me?
No, his real name's Youqing.
Jiazhen came back with him.
We almost called him "Don't Gamble."
I'd like to borrow money to set up a shop.
I'm not one to lend money.
I'll lend you something else. More practical.
I never had to beg when I ran the puppet troupe.
Earn your money yourself.
Put together a troupe.
They are fabulous.
My heart is full of sorrow
It's that hateful bandit, Jiang
I'm lucky to be alive
Me and my lover want more time
To frolic on our great big bed
Come on! Get a move on!
1949: Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army is losing the civil war.
The Communists under Mao Zedong are poised to take over China.
So we're fighting the Communists.
Might never go home again.
What are you looking at?
Thinking of escaping?
The Nationalists will shoot you.
troops for both sides are everywhere.
If you don't fight the Reds, you fight the KMT.
But who will look after my wife, my kids, my old mother?
Forget it. Try to save your own skin.
As for me...
if I weren't looking for my brother, I wouldn't be wearing this uniform.
Chunsheng, you really are mad.
I'd die happy if I could drive.
As for me...
I want to live. There's nothing like family.
One, two, three. One, two, three.
This case is in the way!
Whose is it? Get rid of it!
Sir, it's mine. I've got my things in it. Let me keep it.
Get it out of my sight then.
It's just a bunch of puppets. Get rid of them! This is war!
They're not mine. It's how I make my living.
What a bloodbath.
What's that sound?
No one's looking after them?
No one's left.
Must be tens of thousands of us trapped here.
Way to go, Chunsheng!
- Where'd you get them? - Off the corpses.
The wounded who froze to death.
Put it on. We must survive.
Lao Quan, have a drink.
It really is booze!
Was it from some dead officer?
Chunsheng and I are lucky to meet someone as nice as you.
You've looked after us.
We must help each other.
Besides, we're from the same town.
Lao Quan, the place is deserted.
I'm still dizzy from drinking!
What happened? No one's left?
They've all run off.
How could that be?
The Reds must be on the attack.
- Shouldn't we run, too? - Where to?
Wait right here.
and you'll be shot.
Better to wait and become a POW.
The Reds send POWs home.
So, no running?
You want to go home, don't run.
They won't shoot us?
Not as long as you've got your hands up.
This will do the trick?
Don't reach for your waist!
Do that and you're dead.
The Reds treat POWs well. I've been one before.
Just put those hands up.
- The attack hasn't started. - Let's put them down.
Dying like this, their families won't even know.
we've got to make it back alive.
And live a good life.
Lao Quan! They're shooting!
Where did you find this coat?
- On one of the wounded. - It's a killing field.
The coat's from my brother's unit.
- What are you doing? - They're shooting!
What's your brother look like?
Just like me.
The enemy's secret weapon
I gather my troops
and we run for our lives
It's your daddy.
What are you doing?
Mother died without knowing where I was.
we sang for the Liberation Army.
Suppose I was singing for her, too.
She never shut her eyes...
kept them fixed on the door, so sure you'd be back.
You should have written.
I never thought I'd make it back alive.
I thought of you...
all the time and worried...
how you were getting by.
The new government paid for mother's burial...
and gave me this job, delivering water.
I'm up before dawn.
Everyone wants water.
The more I deliver, the more I earn.
It's been hard on the kids.
They never get...
a good night's sleep.
How come Fengxia can't talk?
She was fine when I left.
She can't even say "Daddy."
In fact, she was lucky.
For a week, she ran a high fever.
No one thought she'd pull through.
When the fever came down...
she'd lost her voice.
This is our town leader, Mr. Niu.
So you're our leading cadre.
- I heard you got back this morning. - I'm back.
I have come to see if you need anything.
Look at this.
He has served in the Liberation Army?
You participated in the revolution.
I just dragged a cannon and sang opera.
That's taking part.
You were with Chunsheng. Why isn't he back?
He joined the army as a driver. He went south with them.
We won't see him for a while.
Fugui, you're back just in time...
to attend Long'er's public trial.
Come along and get an education.
What did Long'er do?
Because of the family home, he's been sentenced a landlord.
But it's not just that.
The government wanted part of the house.
He refused, beat up a cadre...
and then set fire to the place.
Classic counterrevolutionary sabotage.
He burnt it?
It burnt for days.
Your timber was first class!
That wasn't ours. It was counterrevolutionary timber.
Of course. You're you, he's him.
Execute the revolutionary despot, Long'er!
To the execution ground!
We will crush the counterrevolution!
Crush the counterrevolution!
Down with the counterrevolutionaries!
Long live the Communist Party!
Long live the People's Government!
Long live Chairman Mao! Down with the counterrevolutionaries!
Build a new China!
Why are your pants wet?
Five bullets. Five.
They shot him.
They shot Long'er?
Pumped five bullets into him.
He is dead.
If I hadn't lost my home to him...
that'd have been me.
What class do we belong to?
Surely not. We lost that status to Long'er. So, what are we?
Sounds okay to me. And I took part in the revolution.
- What are you looking for? - That certificate.
- In the wash? - No, here it is.
Better dry it out fast.
Have to keep it safe.
Are you sure we're just townsfolk?
It's good to be poor. Nothing like it.
Get a frame for it tomorrow.
I'll hang it on the wall.
1958: Mao Zedong launches the "Great Leap Forward."
Steel production is now targeted at 10.7 million tonnes per year.
Every household donates its iron utensils.
Take a break.
Our family's turn to donate iron.
It's all here?
To deliver water to the steelworks.
Everyone will be thirsty.
We'll take these.
If you take all our pots away, how will we cook?
We're racing towards Communism, and you worry about food?
We are setting up communal kitchens.
When you're hungry...
just come to the canteen.
There'll be meat, fish.
Nothing else to contribute?
Yes, there is!
But that's wood.
There's metal on it.
And here are pins.
It can't be worth much.
We are less politically aware than your son.
It's enough for two bullets.
We are just two bullets short of liberating Taiwan.
So let's get that metal.
The workers deserve entertaining, don't they?
You know, I sang for the Liberation Army...
and after that...
they captured two mountains a day.
I see your point.
All I've seen at the worksites are student marching bands.
We'll spur them on with puppet shows.
You can leave those.
We won't touch them.
We're off to the next house.
We are not going to liberate Taiwan?
Sure we are. We'll definitely liberate Taiwan.
- Enough? - No!
Still not enough? Okay, I'll fill it right up.
Big ambition for a little kid.
It's more than enough.
So gobble away. Help yourself to sauces.
Youqing, I'll help you stir that up.
What a big appetite!
And so much chili sauce!
That's a big bowl, Youqing.
Give it to us if you can't finish.
What the hell are you doing?
How could you?
Can't you control this child?
What did you think you were doing?
What is this?
Look at all the chili sauce. Let me see your eyes.
This is too much.
- Trying to kill him, or what? - They're just kids.
Kids? Where did he learn that from?
This hasn't anything to do with us adults.
We don't know what's going on.
Do you expect me to believe that?
It's sabotage. Sabotage to the communal kitchen.
And sabotage of the Great Leap Forward!
That kid could not dream that up.
Youqing! Look what you've done!
Apologize. Say you were wrong.
I'm talking to you.
- Are you going? - No.
- Are you going or not? - No!
- I'm telling you to go! - No!
You won't go?
Don't hit him!
Leave him alone! I'll kill him!
How could you?
Said he was a saboteur. I had to.
That guy's word is law? The government?
I tried to stop you.
Why wouldn't he just apologize?
I hit him for not obeying.
That's no excuse.
You spoil him.
Can't you see I'm doing this for our family?
Don't you understand?
If you indulge him, we'll all go to ruin.
I'll hit him again if I have to.
Sit then. Right in front of me!
Isn't he your own flesh and blood?
You, looking after us! After all these years.
What do you know?
Kids had been bullying Fengxia. He was defending her.
Do you think I'd let this family go to ruin?
I've stuck with you through good and bad.
Have I ever complained?
Poor Fengxia. Can't even talk back to bullies.
Youqing adores her. And you'd hit him.
Daddy will make it better.
Youqing, after dinner...
come see the show.
Youqing's not going to any stupid show.
He uses the secret mirror
and blinds all who look within
I yell there's no time to waste
Far away, we flee with haste
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