The Story of Qiu Ju

26 03 2011

Rating: PG
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, 8/10

I began watching The Story of Qiu Ju with the expectation that the seemingly strong-willed pregnant woman Qiu Ju would be a valiant heroine who saves her family’s honor. I was wrong. By the end you aren’t really sure who is most to blame for all the trouble, Qiu Ju, the village chief who is feuding with Qiu Ju’s family, or the Chinese judicial system.

The best part of this film is not a beautifully written plot or flashy camera shots. Instead, this film gives viewers an incredible insight into Chinese culture. It may not be glamorous or entertaining, but it is a complex system of maneuvering between societal, personal and legal obligations.

Qiu Ju is not a heroine. Not in the traditional sense of the word. She is not always right. She does not fix everyone’s problems. She wants what is best for her family. She wants to be respected. She worries. She makes mistake. She is strong. She is a Chinese woman.

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