Synopsis by Tom Vick
Chen Kaige's first Chinese film since the poorly received, Hollywood-produced Killing Me Softly is based on a true story of an adolescent violin prodigy coming of age in Beijing. Raised in a small town, Xiao Chun (Tang Yun) is brought to Beijng by his devoted single father, Lui Cheng (Liu Peiqi), who recognizes his talent and is determined to make him a success. After losing a rigged competition for admission into a prestigious music school, Xaio Chun is taken as a student by a brilliant but distracted teacher, Jiang (Wang Zhiwen), and begins to become distracted himself by his twenty-something party-girl neighbor Lili (Chen Hong). He eventually leaves Jiang for more rigorous study under a more famous teacher, Professor Yu (played by director Chen himself), which leaves him torn between his burgeoning career and the loving father who has sacrificed so much for his benefit. Woven throughout the narrative are trenchant comments about the changing face of modern Beijing.
big-city, China, fish-out-of-water, music-professor, music-student, music-teacher, prodigy, violinist