Ju Dou

Ju Dou

3.0 2
Director: Zhang Yimou

Cast: Gong Li, Li Baotian, Li Wei

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A dark, sensual, and visually sumptuous drama, Ju Dou centers on the title character, the third wife of a wealthy silk dyer in 1920s China. Forced into marriage by poverty, Ju Dou is repeatedly mistreated and cruelly disciplined by her husband, Jin-shan, for failing to bear him an heir. Her suffering attracts the sympathy of Jin-shan's younger, kinder nephew,…  See more details below

Overview

A dark, sensual, and visually sumptuous drama, Ju Dou centers on the title character, the third wife of a wealthy silk dyer in 1920s China. Forced into marriage by poverty, Ju Dou is repeatedly mistreated and cruelly disciplined by her husband, Jin-shan, for failing to bear him an heir. Her suffering attracts the sympathy of Jin-shan's younger, kinder nephew, Tian-qing, and the two begin a secret affair that could have tragic consequences. Spanning the course of many years, the film's narrative takes several surprising turns, defying expectations and complicating audience sympathies. None of the film's characters is wholly heroic or evil, allowing all three central performers -- Li Bao-tian as Tian-qing, Li Wei as Jin-shan, and the luminous Gong Li as Ju Dou -- to fashion memorable, complex portrayals. Director Zhang Yimou, a former cinematographer, uses gorgeously saturated images that emphasize his story's elemental nature, which often recalls classical tragedy. Met with controversy in China due to supposed political overtones that worried government officials, Ju Dou received fairer treatment overseas, winning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and numerous festival prizes.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Sumptuously photographed yet coolly fatalistic, Ju Dou was banned in its native China while wowing critics abroad with its strikingly erotic content and remarkably direct political subtext. It was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film and established the careers of director Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li. Made in the immediate aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, the film brilliantly allegorizes the cycle of violence beget by feudalism and revolution in 20th-century China. Set during the 1920s (before the Communists came to power), the story focuses on a love triangle among Jin-shan, an old, cruel silk dyer; his young third wife, Ju Dou (he beat the other two to death); and the old man's nephew, Tian-qing, who is too poor to marry. Fueled by the overwhelming weight of tradition and his own sexual impotence, Jin-shan initially comes across as a miserly and sadistic monster who showers invective on his nephew and tortures his wife for not bringing him an heir. Yet Ju Dou's and Tian-qing's eventual rebellion is anything but noble. After Jin-shan is crippled, they flagrantly continue their illicit affair, transgressing the rigid hierarchy of tradition. They taunt Jin-shan, as he quietly stews in helpless fury. When the resulting child grows to be a psychotic and violent terror, Zhang's meaning becomes mercilessly clear: you reap what you sow. Dark and unsettling, Ju Dou is a harrowing, sensual tale by a filmmaker reaching the peak of his abilities.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/14/2006
UPC:
0690445022424
Original Release:
1990
Source:
Razor
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:34:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gong Li Ju Dou
Li Baotian Yang Tian-quing
Li Wei Yang Jin-shan
Zhang Yi Yang Tian-bai-as a child
Zheng Jian Yang Tian-bai (youth)

Technical Credits
Zhang Yimou Director
Gu Changwei Cinematographer
Liu Heng Screenwriter
Liu Heng Screenwriter
Hu Jian Producer
Zhao Jiping Score Composer
Fei Jiupeng Art Director
Yang Lun Cinematographer
Xia Ru-jin Score Composer,Art Director
Shigemi Suzuki Producer
Zhang Wenze Producer
Tatsumi Yamashita Producer
Yasuyoshi Yokuma Producer
Yasu Yosi Producer
Du Yuan Editor
Zhi-an Zhang Costumes/Costume Designer

Read More

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Ju Dou
1. Uncle's New Wife [14:47]
2. Aunt's Screaming in the Night [7:49]
3. The Attractions [8:12]
4. Ju-Dou Had a Boy [9:17]
5. Pleasures and Fears [14:35]
6. Tianbai's Birthday [7:58]
7. Uncle's Sudden Death [9:03]
8. Together Again [14:59]
9. Production Credit [2:11]

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Ju Dou 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STAY CLEAR FROM THIS DVD, IT IS A RIP-OFF. The Pioneer DVD that was released back in the late 1990's and is now out-of-print, is of far better quality than this awful and more recent edition by RAZOR ENTERTAINMENT, with awful colors, more awful subtitles and terrible sound. This great film still awaits a deserving DVD edition; hopefully Criterion or Koch Lorber will pick up on it.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
Despite a very poor transfer in a full-screen format, the film is of such outstanding quality that I recommend it to anyone who has never seen it. It undoubtly deserves a place alongside the great classics of world cinema. The cinematography, acting, script and story are simply incomparable. This film actually deserves a Criterion Collection treatment, but failing that, it's still so good that it survives this rather poor transfer. I also recommend any of Zhang Yimou's films, especially those he made with Gong Li, such as Farewell My Concubine, The Story of Qiu Ju, Shanghai Trilogy and To Live. What an amazing body of work!