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21 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving
A tale of violence, love, comradeship, and the horrors of war, this film is really strange to the eye and yet affecting and lingers in the mind long after. I first saw it on release in an art cinema and was knocked out. Now 24 years later it is still a great film for me and so I recommend it. But not for the faint hearted or if you like something that fits in a known...
Published on 18 July 2011 by Ian S. Mowat

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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful dvd - welcome back to 1988!
I can't say how pleased I was when I saw that Red Sorghum was to be released on UK dvd. At last a modern edition to replace the ancient Palace video from the late 80's. Sadly however this disc is pathetic, a disgrace - it is essentially the same old Palace version (taken I believe from an old Channel 4 broadcast) slung onto disc with no care taken as to quality control...
Published on 19 Jan 2009 by 72trails of smoke


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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
Beautifully filmed, good story, deals with personal, cultural and historical aspects of Chinese culture and evokes lots of different emotions. I love this film. The actors are very good and Zhang Yimou is a great director.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red Sorghum Artistic Review, 16 Jan 2011
By 
Ioannis P. Lykidis (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD]
Wanted to see the early work of Young Zimou and the performance of a very young and very beautiful Li Gong. Despite it's young age, I found the Film to be excellent and I am glad I made this purchase.
As usual, I found the service of Amazon to be impeccable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: Red Sorghum (Amazon Instant Video)
This was not what I thought....The description used the word, 'delightful' - and the subject matter surely could not be described with that word. I did enjoy it for the Mandarin as I am learning the language and it was clear and fairly sparse. The red theme was good to watch.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut from the Chinese Danny Boyle...., 13 Oct 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
I refer to, of course, 2008's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing being designed and choreographed by the visionary director of this, his first film - China's own Yimou Zhang.

And here is where it all started - though previously he had been a cinematographer - and it shows - Red Sorghum is beautiful, visually but with that extra edge of human darkness; lust, greed, violence, death, murderous invaders, all set within or close to the wavering seas of sorghum grasses, grown for making a blood-red wine.

Both blood and wine flows copiously at times as this tale gets handed down through the generations; a story that starts simply but which builds into a brazen attack on the senses, the superb use of colour mixing with excellent dramatic acting, slow-moving and evocative long takes and occasional bursts of action - and some comedy, good natural comedy that's actually a joy and which breaks down any boundaries concerned with race, or time.

I quite like the narration that occasionally ables us and the songs, more like spiritual war-dances than pretty ditties.

If you prefer your Chinese/Hong Kong movies more action-based with high-kicking martial arts or big-scaled epic battles, then this might leave you disappointed - this is more Arthouse, something to ponder and savour than having your eyeballs filled with non-stop thrills.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some bits of this are very slow but I enjoyed it. It's not really a martial arts movie ..., 3 Sep 2014
This review is from: Red Sorghum (Amazon Instant Video)
Some bits of this are very slow but I enjoyed it. It's not really a martial arts movie more of a love story. But I liked it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, and good job too., 25 April 2013
By 
Pete Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 1987 film from acclaimed director Yimou Zhang, and features the well known actress Gong Li, in her first starring role.
Set in the 1930′s, just before the Japanese invasion, it tells the story of the young wife, bought by the repulsive aged owner of a wealthy sorghum wine making business. Married against her will, she soon finds love with one of the servants. When the old husband dies, she runs the business, a rare sight of female independence in old China. The Japanese come, and the community eventually rises against them.

That is the story, but not the film. Beautifully photographed, with a meticulous sense of time and place, the red of the sorghum acting as a metaphor for the blood that flows, all make this film a cinematic treat. There has been much criticism that the story fails to progress smoothly, due to the emphasis on the scenery, and the compelling visuals. I would have to agree, that there is an element of style over substance. However, in this case, it is justified.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Film, 24 Sep 2010
This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
This was the first film that I saw from the Peoples' Republic. I was amazed that China, living in a cultural vacuum, came up with this masterpiece of world cinema. The camerawork, directing and editing rivals anything Hollywood could do. The acting is heartfelt and compelling. I loved the scenes in the Sorghum Fields, there was something not quite of this world, ethereal and dreamlike - sublime. A beautiful film.

By the way, this film got me to taste some of the Sorghum wines that are available in Chinese supermarkets and restaurants.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
Great
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a masterpiece, 13 Feb 2009
By 
C. Corcoran (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
I was really looking forward to seeing this long awaited film, and I've not been disappointed. This is a classic and a must see film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
Boring
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Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD]
Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] by Yimou Zhang (DVD - 2009)
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