Life on a String (1990)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Road Movie  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - China, Germany, UK  |  
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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.

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Keywords

cure, banjo, blindness [physical], disciple, friendship, generation-gap, meaning-of-life, music, search, spiritual, traveling