Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern ★★★½ 1991 (PG)
Set in 1920s China, Zhang explores its claustrophobic world of privilege and humiliation. Songlian, an educated 19yearold beauty, is forced into marriage as the fourth wife of a wealthy and powerful old man. She discovers that the wives have their own separate quarters and servants, and spend most of their time battling to attract their husband's attention. Over the course of a year, Songlian's fury and resentment grow until selfdefeating rebellion is all she has. Gong Li is exquisite as the young woman struggling for dignity in a portrayal which is both haunting and tragic. 125m/C VHS, DVD . CH Gong Li, Ma Jingwu, He Caifei, Cao Cuifeng, Jin Shuyuan, Kong Lin, Ding Weimin; D: Yimou Zhang. British Acad. '92: Foreign Film; L.A. Film Critics '92: Cinematog.; N.Y. Film Critics '92: Foreign Film; Natl. Soc. Film Critics '92: Cinematog., Foreign Film.