Buddha Mountain

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Buddha Mountain
Buddha Mountain.jpg
Directed byLi Yu
StarringSylvia Chang
Fan Bingbing
Chen Bolin
Music byPeyman Yazdanian
CinematographyZeng Jian
Edited byZeng Jian, Karl Riedl
Laurel Films
Huaxing Real Estate
Distributed byGolden Scene
Release date
  • October 24, 2010 (2010-10-24) (Tokyo Film Festival)
  • March 4, 2011 (2011-03-04) (China)
Running time
104 minutes

Buddha Mountain is a 2010 drama film directed by Li Yu and starring Sylvia Chang, Fan Bingbing and Chen Bolin. It was produced by Laurel Films, a small independent production company owned by Fang Li and based in Beijing. Laurel Films also produced Li Yu's previous film Lost in Beijing.

This film chronicles the lives of three youths who have no intention of sitting exams and getting into universities and a retired Chinese opera singer who is mourning the death of her son. The film explores themes of teenage confusion, angst, and rebellion and the impermanence of life.


When singing on a pub stage, Nan Feng (Fan Bingbing) knocks a man unconscious. Nan Feng, her boyfriend Ding Bo (Chen Bolin), and another friend eat and drink by the roadside. Nan Feng, Ding Bo, Fatso and Teacher Chang are eating the supper. They are waiting for a train home at Buddha mountain railway station. When they back home, they put 2800 RMB in the suitcase.

The repaired car driven by Ding Bo stopped in front of them when they are eating by the road. Then they get in the car and stopped at a destroyed building. By the flashback scenes, we know this building was destroyed by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. They took a picture helped by a monk in front of the destroyed Buddha temple.

Nan Feng, Ding Bo, Fatso and Teacher Chang go to the destroyed Buddha temple. They make some repairing and painting, and hang a bell. In the night, they talk to each other. The monk says his master’s real body is in the temple. Teacher Chang says she has done all she has to do. The next morning Nan Feng and his friends seek Teacher Chang and they find Teacher Chang is on the opposite cliff top. Nan Feng looks down to the cliff to see the train passing by, when she raises her head, she finds Teacher Chang is disappeared. Finally, they know Teacher Chang jumped off the cliff and died.


Year Group Award Result
2010 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival[1] Best Actress – Fan Bingbing Won
Best Artistic Contribution – Li Yu Won
2011 Casa Asia Film Week[2] Best Film Won
18th Beijing College Student Film Festival[3] Best Actress – Fan Bingbing Won

Alternate versions[edit]

This film's release in China consisted of a version different from the version seen at Tokyo International Film Festival. The deleted content include the forced demolitions and the beginning scenes (Sylvia Chang's role originally, was at the beginning of the film. She had an appearance during a scene in the Beijing Opera Troupe but her position in the troupe is replaced by another actor, so she was frustrated when the three youngsters first meet her. This clip is deleted so the role of teacher chang could be more complete). Director Li Yu stated that the deletion was not the request of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, instead, it was simply to make the whole movie rhythm better and overall narrative smoother.[4]


The film received generally positive reviews from critics. The film was a financial success, with a domestic gross of more than 70 million RMB.[5][6] The Hollywood Reporter criticized this film could easily have been a rote, melodramatic weeper but is saved from that fate by some astute writing, strong performances and an almost utter dearth of expected devices and although there are jumps in the growth of the characters, it's hard to find serious fault when the film has such an intense veracity otherwise.[7] The Variety wrote younger thesps also impress, particularly Fan, who makes Nan Feng both childlike and fearsome. Chen's Ding Bo is less detailed, but scenes with the character's father (producer/co-writer Fang Li) give the thesp opportunity to explore greater emotional depths.[8]


  1. ^ "23rd Tokyo International Film Festival List of Winners". 31 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Buddha Mountain, Best Film at Casa Asia Film Week". 12 June 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  3. ^ "第18届大学生电影节完全获奖名单". 28 April 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  4. ^ "《观音山》首映 李玉:删了5分钟与审查无关". ifensi.com. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "《观音山》票房破七千万". qingdaonews.com. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  6. ^ "观音山》以七千万票房收官". nddaily.com. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  7. ^ Elizabeth Kerr (25 October 2010). "Buddha Mountain--Film Review". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  8. ^ Russell Edwards (31 March 2011). "Buddha Mountain". variety.com. Retrieved 7 October 2012.

External links[edit]