cinema review: Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles is a great film. It was made in 2005 by Chinese director, Yimou Zhang.

I have a fondness for foreign films. I find comfort in the familiarity of our common humanity across cultures. The theme in this movie is the broken relationships between fathers and sons and the redemption sought for that brokenness. The title is also the name of a Chinese folk mask opera about a hero who travels 1000 miles to rejoin a close friend. The opera serves as the metaphor for the movie. As a Japanese father tries to soften his dying son's heart, he travels to China to finish a project of his son, who filmed the folk operas. The man he wants to film is also separated from his son, only a child. The Japanese father connects with the Chinese man's son in a way he never did with his own son. He also softens the heart of the boy's father, who had never seen him and languished in prison. The Japanese son, when he learns of his father's endeavor, also warms to his father. The movie ends tragically, but peacefully. The reconciliation never happens physically, only spiritually, but the redemption is found.

The scenery is epic. The cinematography is superb. The acting is from the heart. The story brings hope.

Here is the trailer.

More info and a different trailer at the studio website.


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