Under the Hawthorn Tree (film)
|Under the Hawthorn Tree|
|Directed by||Zhang Yimou|
|Produced by||Zhang Weiping, Cao Yuayi, Hugo Shong, Bill Kong|
|Written by||Yin Lichuan, Gu Xiaobai|
|Based on||Hawthorn Tree Forever
by Ai Mi
|Starring||Zhou Dongyu, Shawn Dou|
|Music by||Qigang Chen|
|Edited by||Meng Peicong|
|Distributed by||Edko Fims Ltd.|
|Running time||114 minutes|
|Box office||¥148 million (China)|
Under the Hawthorn Tree (simplified Chinese: 山楂树之恋; traditional Chinese: 山楂樹之戀; pinyin: Shānzhāshù Zhī Liàn) is 2010 Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou. It was adapted from the popular 2007 novel Hawthorn Tree Forever by Ai Mi, which was based on a true story set during the Cultural Revolution. The film was released in Mainland China (September 2010), Hong Kong (November 2010) and in Singapore (February 2011).
Set during the end of China's Cultural Revolution in a small village in Yichang City, Hubei Province, China, this film is about a pure love that develops between a beautiful high school student, Zhang Jing Qiu and a handsome young prospector named Lao San. Jing Qiu is one of the "educated youth" sent to be "re-educated" through work in the countryside under a directive from Chairman Mao Zedong.
She arrives with a group in Xiping village, in the Yangtze River's Three Gorges region, where they are shown a hawthorn tree called the Tree of Heroes which was reputedly nourished by the blood of Chinese martyrs executed by the Japanese during World War II. Jing Qiu is lodged with the family of village head, where she meets geology student Sun Jianxin (nicknamed Lao San), who also takes his meals at Zhang's home, and she's drawn to his responsible and honorable character.
Lao San's father held a high position in the military, but his mother committed suicide four years ago after being branded as a "rightist". Jing's father was also a political prisoner somewhere in China and her mother, branded as a "capitalist", was reduced to menial work to support their family. Following the political persecution of her father, Jing Qiu lived with her mother and little siblings, working towards becoming a teacher to support her family.
Despite the fact that this could endanger the future of Jing Qiu and her family, Jing Qiu and Lao San fell in love and their relationship continues the following year. Lao San also promised to wait for her until she grew up. Jing Qiu was torn between her feelings for Lao San and her filial duty to her family.
However, Lao San later developed leukemia and forced himself to leave Jing Qiu. Jing, without knowing about Lao San's deadly disease, was only reunited with him when he was dying in hospital. The film closed with Jing Qiu tearfully calling the unconscious Lao San, repeatedly saying "I am Jing Qiu, I am Jing Qiu." 
- Zhou Dongyu as Jing Qiu
- Shawn Dou as Lao San (Jianxin)
- Xi Meijuan
- Li Xuejian
- Chen Taisheng
- Rina Sa
- Lü Liping
- Sun Haiying
This film is based on the novel Hawthorn Tree Forever which was written by renowned author Aimi and it was inspired by the real-life story of her friend, Jing. Zhang Yimou decided to bring the story to the big screen after being moved by the novel.
The film debuted in the 15th Pusan International Film Festival on 7 October 2010. It was then released in Mainland China on 15 September 2010 and in Hong Kong on 11 November 2010. It was also released on 10 February 2011 in Singapore cinemas.
My Paper said that "Dou and Zhou bring a touching believability to this tale of young love" and rated this film 3.5 stars. Pusan International Film Festival website stated that "He renders it as something now tainted under the weight of age and ever-changing worlds. In an unbelievably delicate observance... Zhang expresses his view of innocence in a soft, almost feminine, approach. Also ... he successfully draws enticing portrayals of innocence from Zhou Dongyu and Dou Xiao. ... Zhang Yimou appears to reclaim his own innocence as a youthful creator. " Kaori Shoji of The Japan Times gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, and describes it as a "tearjerker aims for the heart".
|Film Festival||Date of ceremony||Category||Participants/Recipients||Result|
|15th Pusan International Film Festival||7–15 October 2010||Opening Film (International Premiere)||Under the Hawthorn Tree||Participant|
|30th Hawaii International Film Festival||14–24 October 2010||Opening Night Film||Under the Hawthorn Tree||Participant|
|7th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival||8 November 2010||Closing Film||Under the Hawthorn Tree||Participant|
|61st Berlin International Film Festival||10–20 February 2011||New Generation||Under the Hawthorn Tree||Participant|
|5th Asian Film Awards||21 March 2011||Best Newcomer||Zhou Dongyu||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Meng Peicong||Nominated|
|16th International Film Festival of Kerala||9–16 December 2011||Opening Film||Under the Hawthorn Tree||Participant|
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