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Dam Street [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Li Yu    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Directors: Li Yu
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: 22 April 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0011ZW0LK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,502 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dam fine film 26 Aug 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In early 1980s China, sixteen-year-old Yun (a breathtaking portrayal by Yi Liu) finds that she has become pregnant by a schoolfriend. Condemned by the moral society of her rural town, bullied by her mother, and eventually told by her mother that Yun's child (whom she and her mother put up for adoption) has died, her life seems destined to be one of misery and isolation. The film then moves forward ten years. Yun is part of a dancing troupe, a job where she is demeaned by the men whom come to see her shows, but economically stable, and rebuilding her life. From there, her life is quickly brightened by an unlikely friendship with Xiao-yong (Xingrao Hung), a young, mischievous student whom her mother tutors. It is, however, to be a friendship from which great happiness, heartfelt regrets and long-hidden secrets emerge. The performances from both Liu and Hung are marvellous, and they are backed by a strong supporting cast, and some wonderfully crisp, bleakly beautiful cinematography, which recreates the China which sees the post-Maoist period begin between the two years (1983 and 1993), in which the action of 'Dam Street' is set. Commendably unsentimental in its portrayal of rural China, and refreshingly honest and explorative in its depiction of Yun's sexuality, 'Dam Street' is a remarkably assured and honest effort, with the film's refusal to make simplistic moral judgments, or point fingers, also most welcome.

There is, however, a major flaw in 'Dam Street'. Without trying to reveal too much of the plot, one of the film's key revelations over a relationship, gives certain previous scenes in the film a highly awkward feeling of sexual incest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DAM STREET: Grim Bleak But Compelling 3 Oct 2009
By Martin Asiner - Published on Amazon.com
Life in the post Mao era of the 1980s in China has the well deserved reputation of unrelieved grimness. DAM STREET is the visual affirmation of a culture that seems intent on punishing anyone who goes against the crowd. Director Yu Li uses stark images of a town located directly on a river that functions as a dam, literally holding back the potential energy of the swirling waters beyond and figuratively trapping the kinetic energy of the residents, all of whom are involved with avoiding being crushed by uncaring others or crushing those who cannot get out of the way fast enough. Sister Yun (Liu Yi) is a sixteen year old school girl who commits the unpardonable sin of getting pregnant by her boyfriend Wang Fen (Liu Rui). Their indiscretion is blared over the school's loudspeaker. Both are expelled. Wang Fen shows little gumption as he quickly accepts his disgrace and leaves town to become a carpenter's apprentice. Sister Yun has to face the hostility of the town totally alone. Her mother Teacher Su (Li KeChun) beats her and conspires with her other daughter Wang Zhengyue (Wang Yizhu)to give away the baby. They tell her the baby was stillborn. Ten years pass and Sister Yun tries to live down what she and the town see as a disgrace. She becomes a traditional Chinese opera singer who gets roundly booed when she sings. They urge her to sing pop songs, which she does. Her life is grim and unrelentingly cruel. She takes a lover who is married. When the wife finds out, she interrupts Sister Yu's singing to administer a public beating. Sister Yun becomes friends with a ten year old boy who needs a mother just as she needs a son. Complicating matters is a Freudian undertow of an Oedipal complex as their relation inches back and forth toward crossing a forbidden line.

There is no relief from the bleakness of life. Strong male figures are noticeably absent. The few males featured are weak like her boyfriend or jerks like her married lover. Most of the cast are females of assorted ages, none of whom are willing to cut Sister Yun any slack. The dam that holds back the river does not budge an inch and neither do the unforgiving crowd that surrounds it. DAM STREET is a compelling look at a culture that is not so different from the one that forced Hester Prynne to wear a scarlet letter of shame in a different time and different country.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love's Labor Lost in Sichuan 17 Dec 2009
By J. Conwell - Published on Amazon.com
I have traveled to Sichuan China several times in the last few years, where this movie is set. Despite the outward progress of capitalism in a Communist country, the status of women has changed very little -- especially when a single woman's daughter becomes pregnant. In order to "protect" the daughter, the new born son is reported doa, but is secretly raised through the intervention of the daughter's mother. Interesting relationships develop over the years involving all three members of this broken family. There is heart-breaking opportunities to accept responsibility for the actions of mother and daughter, built around the son, but too many hardships and delusions get in the way. A powerful portrait of the shame and lost love between mother (the ever-beautiful Li Kechun, whose acting is superb) and daughter is uneasy, but worth the closing scene. High recommendation.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bleak And Lovely Film That Loses Power By Pulling Away From Dramatics With Exposition 16 May 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
There is a really compelling story at the heart of "Dam Street." In some hands, the film could have been turned into a melodramatic weepie about sacrifice and mother love. But it's matter-of-fact tone keeps it relatively grounded in reality. While this is a strength, it also serves as somewhat of a weakness keeping the viewer aloof to the central characters. Every time some big dramatic act takes place, the film cuts away to a narration to explain what happens next instead of showcasing the actual aftermath. So the emotional payoff is consistently shortchanged as we never stay close enough to the action.

The film does boasts solid performances. When a sixteen year old student becomes pregnant, a moral code all but ostracizes her from acceptable society. Forced to give the child up, and later told it is dead, she unwittingly befriends a boy ten years later who may have closer connections than she is aware of. The lead character is appropriately conflicted throughout trying to navigate the town politics with her fallen status. It's a film that approaches bleak greatness but pulls away from real emotional devastation in the film technique. About 3 1/2 stars--I wanted the film to stop cutting away from the wreakage. KGHarris, 5/11.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dam Street 11 Oct 2013
By Realistically Speaking - Published on Amazon.com
A great Chinese movie filmed in what looks like the 1980's. Give it a try, its subtitled in English. I think its great!
4.0 out of 5 stars A downer, but also a true story 10 Jun 2014
By Smaug - Published on Amazon.com
True story, but a real downer too. I'm always sad for Chinese people, even if their economy is doing well.
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