2H (1999)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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2H combines documentary and dramatic film techniques to depict the psychological passages experienced by two Chinese immigrants in Tokyo as they attempt to adjust their existence to life and death. The protagonist is Ma Jinsan, a cranky 95-year-old former Kuomintang general who defected to Japan almost 50 years ago, shortly after the Communist revolution. His friend is Xiong, a young avant-garde artist who tries to look after him, though her prime concern how to get pregnant with her lover. The film juxtaposes the lives of these two vastly different characters, with the fast pace of Tokyo serving as a counterpoint for an exploration into generational conflict, the place of family in the Chinese Diaspora, and the meaning of life. Director Li Ying, a Chinese emigrant who resides in Tokyo, uses color codes (blue for him, yellow for her) to express what binds and separates this odd couple. Actor Ma Jinsan died just before the film was completed. 2H says a lot about Chinese history and identity, about attraction and repulsion, and about attitudes to life and death. 2H was screened at the International Forum of New Cinema section of the 49th Berlin Film Festival, 1999 where it received the NETPAC (Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award.

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Keywords

artist, China, Communism, General, history, pregnancy, revolution