Red Sorghum was the first directorial effort of controversial Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou. The director's favorite leading lady Gong Li plays a young woman of the 1920s whose family sells her into marriage with a wealthy winemaker. At first a loveless union, the relationship blossoms into one of strong friendship and mutual respect. During World War II, Gong Li fights side by side with her husband against the invading Japanese. A sweeping yet intensely personal historical epic, Red Sorghum won the 1988 Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. Despite its patriotic overtones, the film was heavily censored (when not banned altogether) in certain provinces of Communist China.
by Hal Erickson synopsis