An exquisitely constructed romantic drama, Springtime in a Small Town is the first film by Tian Zhuangzhuang since the controversial The Blue Kite in 1993. Set in a bomb-scarred Chinese town in the aftermath of World War II, the film tells the story of the passionless marriage of the ailing Liyan and his beautiful wife Yuwen. Their lives are disturbed by the arrival of Liyan's old school friend, Zhichen, a cultivated doctor from Shanghai, who was also the teenage love of Yuwen. Despite their attempts to conceal their emotions, Yuwen and Zhichen find that their feelings for each other are re-ignited and, eventually, secrecy and jealousy take their toll on all concerned. Beautifully photographed and delicately played by an outstanding cast, Springtime in a Small Town is a haunting, sensual and long overdue return to filmmaking from one of China's finest directors.
"Beautifully acted, exquisitely considered, spellbindingly tender, utterly involving" -- The Guardian
the performances are a miracle" -- Financial Times
a Chinese masterpiece" -- The Times