Jingzhe (2004)

Countries - China  |  
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A woman struggles to find a life of her own as circumstances conspire against her in this drama from China. Guan Ermei (Yu Nan) is a young woman living in rural China who, after the death of her grandfather, is paired off in an arranged marriage with Zhang Suo (Yan Su), a man who was willing to pay for the elderly man's coffin. Ermei soon finds she's little more than an indentured servant to Suo who puts her to work, but shows little interest in her. One of the few bright spots in Ermei's life is her friendship with gossipy Maonu (Shi Xiaoxia), and with her support Ermei walks away from her marriage and moves to a nearby town where Maonu works in a beauty salon. Ermei gets a job in a restaurant and strikes up a furtive romance with Qiao Liansheng (Liu Yanbin), but circumstances force her back to her husband where she finds herself caring for him after he's drifted into alcoholism. Jingzhe was screened at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival under the title The Story of Ermei.