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Tales told with sensitivity

CHINESE FILMS are rarely screened in Chennai. The last festival of Chinese films was held some 10 years ago. This time, The Madras Film Society in collaboration with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, New Delhi and Federation of Film Societies of India (Northern Region) screened a package of six Chinese films at the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce auditorium. Film producer, Mr. G.Venkateswaran, inaugurated the festival Technically they were all of high quality and the scripts had new twists and turns which made them gripping.

``Lover's Grief Over The Yellow River,'' directed by Feng Xiaoning, narrates the story of the U.S. pilot Owen who comes to help the Chinese against the Japanese. How he helps the Chinese and particularly the relationship between Owen and Anjie, a a surgeon, is told in an interesting way. A touching film which has a poignant ending. Cinematographer Feng Xiaoning and Gang Qiang have given a new dimension to the film which has Ning Jing, Paul Keisey and Wang Xinjun acting in the lead characters.

There may not be anything exciting about a postman and his regular beat. "The Postman in the Mountain''directed by Huo Jianqi keeps the viewers engrossed. The main players are Teng Rujun Liu Ye Zhao Xiuli. The landscapes and the village atmosphere certainly enhance the quality of the film help the feeling and cameraman Zhao Lei has given some beautiful visuals.

Director Zhang Yimou has taken a one-sentence story in ``Not One Less", which deals with a student who is made to teach in a village school as the teacher has gone on long leave. Wei Minzhi and Zhang Huike are the important artistes in the film. The camera is handled by Hoe Young.

Director Zhang Yang with the help of the cinematographer Zhang Jian Bi Er has tried to capture the nuances of the urban life in``Shower". But screenplay should have been a little more gripping. How old man Lao Liu runs his bathhouse and also takes care of his mentally impaired son Erming is touching. The film which has stars like Zhu Xu Pu Cunxi Jian Wu loses grip after the initial character introduction and takes us nowhere.

"The Road Home" is a love story with a difference. This is the second film in the festival, which is directed by Zhang Yimou. Starting from youth, the story moves on till the couple reaches forty years. Zhao Di loves her teacher Luo. After an initial setback she wins the heart of the teacher. How the heroine tries all the means to be with her lover is told with sensitivity. The last scene also shows that they are not separated in death. Zhu Xu, Pu Cunxi and Jian Wu are the main stars who have performed well. Photography by Hou Young certainly enhances the movie.

"Lotus Lantern" is an animation film where the story is from a Chinese legend. The magic powers of the Lotus Lantern are needed to cure the mother of Chenxiang.

How he gets it and cures his mother is the basis of the story, which has all the ingredients to become a commercial success. It has love in Goddess San Sheng Mu and Liu Yanchang. A good film by Chang Guangxi not only for the young but also for the adults.

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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