Fu-Zung Cen (1988)

Run Time - 150 min.  |   Countries - China   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

In this melodrama, which won a blue ribbon from the 1988 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the hardships caused to one person by the Cultural Revolution are closely followed. Hu Yuyin has four good things in her life: a hard-working husband, a successful sidewalk restaurant business, good looks, and enough money to build a small house. When the Party's cultural revolution leader lands in Hu's district, she immediately falls under suspicion: for being pretty, for owning a business, and for having a house. Soon enough, everything she owns has been taken from her but her looks, and her despairing husband has committed suicide. Meanwhile, she has fled. When the first wave of the cultural revolution subsides, she returns to town, taking work as a street sweeper -- a task so lowly that even the minions of the cultural revolution are unlikely to target her for "re-education." Unfortunately, she falls in love with another street sweeper and becomes pregnant. This makes her suspiciously "bourgeois" again, and her lover is sent away to a labor camp and, though pregnant, she is placed on a road-repair crew.