Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This movie was made in 1963, just before the onset of the Cultural Revolution, which brought so much of Chinese life to a standstill. It is based on a novel by a hero of the Communist Revolution, Jou Shih, who participated in the Great March. In the story, set in the 1920s, a schoolteacher has left the big cities and immured himself by working as a teacher in a small town. He meets the widow of a friend of his and supports her and her children on his small salary. Despite the fact that he is in love with another, he proposes marriage to her, and the widow, mindful of his generosity to her and hers, commits suicide so that her presence will not prevent him from finding happiness.
love, marriage, schoolteacher, self-sacrifice, suicide, suicide-attempt, widow/widower