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cover: Life on a String

Life on a String

Director(s): Chen Kaige

Theatrical Release: 1991

Cast: Liu Zhongyuan, Huang Lei, Xu Qing, Zhang Zhenguan, Yao Jingou, Ma Ling

Genre(s): Drama, music, art

Countries: China, Germany (East/West), United Kingdom


Location in store: Please see staff for assistance

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Running Time: 107m.

Life on a String is Chen Kaige's most philosophical and enigmatic work to date. The film depicts the life of two blind musicians, a master and a disciple, as they wander through rural China. Liu Zhongyuan stars as the older, banjo-playing musician who believes that his sight will be restored after wearing out his 1000th string. While the master regards music as a means to a higher level of wisdom, his disciple views music as a thoroughly sensual experience to be enjoyed in the present. As the film progresses, the young musician falls for a village girl, resulting in tragedy, while the old musician reaches his final string, only to find himself in for a shock. The result is a thought-provoking fable on the nature of art and the artist. Jonathan Crow (allmovie.com)
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