Course:ASIA355/2023/Established Customs and Superstitions: Shackled Rural Females in The Road Home

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Established Customs and Superstitions: Shackled Rural Females in The Road Home

Analysis based on The Road Home (1999) directed by Zhang Yimou.

Group Members' Contributions

Introduction ZM, RX, RG, KY
Stories behind the film production ZM(main), KY
Histories of reception ZM(main), KY
Scholarly literature review (1 each) RX
Comparative Analysis (1 each) RG
An alternative interpretation (1 each) KY
Conclusion (work tgt) ZM, RX, RG


The Road Home (1999) is directed by Zhang Yimou and featuring Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Hao and Sun Hong Lei. It portrays a rustic and enduring romantic tale between an urban young man Luo Chanyu and a girl named Zhaodi, who was born and raised in the Sanlitun village. The two's interactions arise from Zhaodi's infatuation with Luo for his literacy and kind heart, as evidenced by being the teacher of the only primary school in the village. Their love survives despite ups and downs, and their story is retold by their beloved son Luo Yusheng, who returns to the village and arranges the funeral for his father. The major themes in our discourse include love, loss, personal connection, and gender perspective.

To offer readers a brief idea about the film, the first section, Stories Behind the Film, delves into behind-the-scenes of the film and introduces several decisional choices made by Zhang and the film crew to enhance the overall quality of the film production. The next part discusses the film's reception, which is largely positive.

Following by Scholarly Literature Review, academic papers written by Dimitri Stone and Rist are digested, and a synopsis of these texts is provided.

Comparative Analysis is based on the Korean Film Failan (2001) featuring Cecilia Cheung and analyses the similarities and differences with The Road Home (1999) to achieve reconciliation with our central themes.

Last but not least, the Alternative Interpretation propose a new perspective of reading The Road Home from conventional discourse about the admiration toward simplicity of rural community and unveil the love story to be a masquerade of the brutal reality in which rural women endure the gender prejudice against them without even recognising it.

Stories Behind the Film[1]

The heroine in the film wears a cotton-padded jacket in accordance with the environmental characteristics. The smile on her reflects the simplicity and innocence nature Zhang would like to convey.

The Road Home is a 1999 film about love, family and affection directed by Zhang Yimou in the grasslands of Fengning Dam in Hebei province, and released on October 16, 1999, starring Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Hao and Sun Honglei. The screenplay is based on the 1998 novel "In Memoriam" by Bao X. The film shows only one scene in Sanhetun, delicately describes the parents' love story, and uses many colour contrasts. The switching of colours is also the most interesting and characteristic feature of the film. The film tells the reality in black and white, such as the father's death at the beginning, but tells the memories in colour and shows the beautiful scenery and stories in the memories. This special use of colour, on the one hand, highlights that the father's death is a serious blow to the mother, reflecting the mother's despair and helplessness in real life. On the other hand, the colourful images also show the beautiful memories of the mother's heart.

The team was unfamiliar with Zhang Ziyi, a newcomer, when they chose the role; she was not that well known, just an obscure newcomer; at that time, she thought she would only one day become a hit because of this film. The lead actress Zhang Ziyi also said in a later interview that the film greatly impacted her because it was her first work in life and recorded her youngest and best moments, and it was also a challenge for her to take the first step in her life. "Running" is also one of Zhang Ziyi's most frequent actions in the entire film; she recalled that the most impressive part of the shooting process was the awkward and youthful running scene in eight pairs of warm pants because of the difficult shooting era and conditions, warmth is also the most primitive method. She also spent much time experiencing rural life, picking water and doing farm work with rural girls to discover the qualities of the character.

In the rare footage, it can be seen that the film started filming around autumn when the conditions on the grassland were difficult and windy. The gradually cold environment also made filming difficult. However, the director still seriously communicated every detail with the walkie-talkie in the footage, and the main actors also filmed what they needed over and over again.

One of the controversial events related to the film is Zhang's withdrawal of two films, including The Road Home, from the Cannes competition. He wrote in a letter to festival President Gilles Jacob that his decision was due to his disappointment toward the political prejudice the West has toward China, exemplified by the fact that they were only interested in programming Chinese films "against the government." However, some surmise that the true cause behind the decision is his gradually improving relationship with the Chinese authorities and the rejection from official competition. The Road Home was later accepted by Berlin in 2000 and awarded the Silver Bear. [2]

Histories of the Film’s Reception[3]

The deliberate cinematographic choice of using Black-White colours to portray the reality.

The film is set in the 1950s in China when construction was incomplete, transportation was inconvenient, economic life was scarce, and people lived in hardship, but their feelings for each other were more sincere. The film's emotional story is very touching but gives the audience a strong visual impact; such a way of shooting is also very innovative now.

Most of the general audience's evaluation of the film is similar; they think the film is successful, and the whole film depicts many things; although the film they do not use language to express too much love, the use of simple shots also to can feel the pure love between parents, how cruel background, always can not resist the powerful love. The audience digs deeper into what the movie celebrates, and the purity and innocence of these loves is the most important thing about the film, which is what director Zhang Yimou wants to tell us and what we all aspire to. One of my most impressive comments is that this movie touched him very deeply; it finished the film directly to tears, resulting in the mood after the film being difficult to calm because he has not felt such pure and simple love in the film for a long time. The images shot are very beautiful, and recent years of commercial films are very different, but it is also a visual feast. Compared with modern society, the plot of this movie is very simple and has no huge investment; it reflects the Chinese style of love, no you and me, no ambiguous speculation, so subtle that the organisation of language need to think long in the crowd of people who look at a glance is a million years. On the contrary, it is difficult to get good feelings nowadays, but people are still trying to find that innocent love in their hearts, even though love nowadays is unstable and can face many temptations. At the same time, seeing that people living in the dark ages are brave enough to continue living, we should also be more courageous to meet the next life.

The Road in The Road Home.

Some peripheral commentaries from the academia, though may not be welcomed by Zhang who was against the politicised interpretations as mentioned above, suggested that the film setting against the backdrop of the political upheavals,i.e. the Cultural Revolution in the 60s, and the rural-urban gap persisted in contemporary China call upon the audience's attention to the social-political issues beneath the romantic story. For instance, Chow's conclusion remarks, "However aesthetically controlled, a film such as A Road Home would not have made sense withtout the messiness of that history and the burden of hope it tries to salvage therein." [4]Similarly, Mu in her paper highlights that "the story of the father's death....seems to invite the question: how can a society so successful in promoting the global culture of consumption be so negligent about building schools for its future generations?"[5] That being said, these opinions delve into the social-political background that is not foregrounded by the film, thus they shall be read as supplementary viewpoints associated with the film.

Scholarly Literature Review

1. Dimitri Tsahuridis, "The Road Home."[6]

In Dimitri Tsahuridis' analysis of Zhang Yimou's film "The Road Home" published in Senses of Cinema, the author explores various facets of the film, shedding light on its narrative structure, visual style, cultural context, gender dynamics, and emotional resonance. Tsahuridis begins by examining the film's unique narrative structure, which skillfully interweaves the past and presents through the use of flashbacks. This narrative technique enhances the emotional impact of the story, allowing for a deeper understanding of the characters' motivations and relationships. The author also emphasises Zhang Yimou's visual artistry, highlighting the film's symbolic imagery and poetic cinematography. One recurring visual motif explored by Tsahuridis is the snowy landscape, which serves as a metaphor for the characters' inner emotions and the passage of time.

Furthermore, Tsahuridis delves into the cultural significance of "The Road Home" within the context of rural Chinese culture and the impact of modernization. The tensions between urban and rural lifestyles depicted in the film mirror broader societal changes occurring in China during the late 20th century. The author analyses the portrayal of traditional gender roles and power dynamics, focusing on the agency and determination of the female protagonist in pursuing her romantic ideals. Within the rural community, the film explores the clash between traditional gender expectations and individual aspirations. Tsahuridis also emphasises the emotional resonance of "The Road Home," highlighting its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia and tap into universal human experiences. Love, loss, and sacrifice are themes that transcend cultural boundaries and deeply resonate with audiences. The film's portrayal of these emotions strikes a chord, inviting viewers to reflect on their connections to the story.

In conclusion, Tsahuridis' analysis of "The Road Home" provides a comprehensive exploration of the film's narrative structure, visual aesthetics, cultural context, gender dynamics, and emotional resonance. By delving into these aspects, the article offers valuable insights into Zhang Yimou's artistic vision and the deeper layers of meaning within the film. Through examining rural Chinese culture, the film invites viewers to reflect on broader societal changes and the complexities of human relationships. Ultimately, "The Road Home" stands as a poignant exploration of love, nostalgia, and the timeless yearning for connection.

2. Stone, Alan. "Zhang Yimou's Long Road Home."[7]

In his article "Zhang Yimou's Long Road Home", published in the Boston Review on October 1, 2001, Alan Stone comprehensively analyses Zhang Yimou's film "The Road Home," delving into its themes, cinematic techniques, and cultural significance. Stone begins by situating the film within the broader context of Zhang's filmography, highlighting the director's distinctive visual style and his exploration of Chinese history and culture.

Stone proceeds to explore the narrative of "The Road Home," focusing on its portrayal of love, loss, and memory. He pays particular attention to the central love story between the protagonist, Zhao Di, and her deceased husband, which is depicted as a metaphor for enduring bonds of love and the longing for connection. Stone highlights the film's poignant and emotional exploration of human relationships through this analysis. Additionally, Stone examines the film's aesthetic choices and cinematography, specifically praising Zhang's use of black and white visuals. He emphasises how this stylistic decision evokes a sense of nostalgia and timelessness, contributing to the film's overall impact. By analysing specific scenes and their visual composition, Stone showcases Zhang's skill in creating a powerful emotional resonance through visual storytelling.

Moreover, Stone explores the film's depiction of rural life in China and the tension between tradition and modernity. He underscores how "The Road Home" offers a nuanced portrayal of village life, capturing its beauty and hardships. Stone suggests that the film serves as a reflection on the changing landscape of China, where urbanisation and progress pose challenges to traditional ways of life. Lastly, Stone reflects on the universal themes in "The Road Home" and its ability to resonate with audiences beyond its cultural context. He asserts that the film's emotional core and exploration of love and loss transcend cultural boundaries, inviting viewers to reflect on their own personal connections and experiences.

3. Rist, Peter. "Zhang Yimou’s The Road Home."[8]

The article which summarises the scholarly studies on "The Road Home," is written by Peter Rist. In his analysis, Rist highlights several major ideas scholars in the English-speaking world explore regarding Zhang Yimou's film. These ideas shed light on various aspects of the film, contributing to a deeper understanding of its significance within the realm of Chinese cinema.

Rist first draws attention to the film's visual aesthetics and cinematography, specifically praising the skilful execution by Hou Yong. He notes the effective use of black and white and colour cinematography, emphasising the stark contrast between the bleakness of the present and the idyllic beauty of the past. According to Rist, the cinematography enhances the film's overall holistic sense of harmony with nature and community.

Another key area of scholarly study highlighted by Rist is the film's allegorical elements and social critique. Scholars have noted that "The Road Home" serves as a commentary on the rapid changes occurring in Chinese society, particularly the dominance of the market economy. Rist suggests that the film contrasts the simplicity and natural socialism depicted in the past with the perceived shortcomings of present-day China, such as commercialism and a loss of cultural direction.

Rist further explores the portrayal of gender dynamics and love in the film. Scholars have commended Zhang Yimou for his casting choices, particularly the discovery of talented young actresses like Zhang Ziyi. Rist notes that the unconventional love story between the young couple depicted in the film breaks away from traditional arranged marriages and reflects the evolving dynamics of relationships in Chinese society.

Also, Rist delves into the cultural and historical context of "The Road Home," particularly its association with the "Cultural Revolution" era. Scholars have examined the film's portrayal of simple village life under communism, with Rist observing that while the government's tyranny is implied, it is not explicitly shown. The film's depiction of rural life is seen as a homage to an idealised and communal past.

In conclusion, Peter Rist's article provides a comprehensive overview of the major ideas explored by scholars in the English-speaking world concerning "The Road Home." Rist's analysis sheds light on the film's visual aesthetics, allegorical elements, social critique, and portrayal of gender dynamics and love, as well as its cultural and historical context. This scholarly examination contributes to a deeper understanding of the film's significance and its place within the broader landscape of Chinese cinema.

Comparative Analysis

The poster of Failan(2001)

Failan (2001), directed by Song Hae-sung, presents a compelling option for a comparative film analysis with The Road Home. Failan tells the stories of two main characters, Failan and Kang-Jae. Failan is a young Chinese lady who travels to South Korea following the passing of her parents. However, the relatives she thought she had in the country have long moved to Canada. To acquire a residency permit and start working, she decides to get into a sham marriage with Kang-Jae, who is in it for the money. On the other hand, Kang-Jae is a member of a gang led by his friend Young-Sik. He often spends his time drinking, and the younger members of the gang do not respect him. After Young-sik kills a rival gang member, Kang-Jae agrees to take responsibility for the crime. However, before he can surrender, the police visit his home to inform him of his wife’s passing. He then goes on a journey to collect Failan’s cremated remains, during which he learns more about his dead wife and slowly develops feelings of love.


Both Failan and The Road Home delve into the themes of love, loss, and human connection. While personal relationships are the primary focus in both films, subtle symbolism enhances these themes. In The Road Home, the red banner created by Di for the school carries symbolic weight as it embodies the love between her and her husband, “it reminded him of mother and her red jacket” (Yimou 55:00). Similarly, in Failan, the red scarf worn by Failan symbolises her love for Kang-Jae, as it was a gift from him (Hae-sung 52:56). The deliberate use of the colour red in these symbolic objects aligns with its association with love. Indeed, Zhang Yimou is known for utilising the symbolic nature of red to emphasise the intensity of love in his films (Taylor and Wang 65). Ultimately, this symbolism reinforces the themes of love and human connection since it evokes the characters' profound love even when physically separated.

Both films share similarities in plot structure, employing flashbacks supported by slow pacing. They feature two intertwined stories, one from the past and one from the present, although the interweaving is less pronounced in The Road Home. The flashbacks in both films offer crucial context that enriches understanding of the characters' current circumstances. For example, the narrator’s father in The Road Home and Failan in Failan are both introduced through flashbacks (Yimou 13:35; Hae-sung 37:21). The deliberately slow pacing enhances this understanding as it gives audiences time to scan the scenes and reflects on them (Attfield 50). Ultimately, this similar plot structure creates a more immersive and contemplative viewing experience, enhancing understanding and emotional impact.

The Road Home and Failan also share similarities in characterising their female protagonists. Both Zhao Di and Failan embody simplicity and innocence. Zhao Di's simplicity and purity are conveyed through her shy demeanour and warm-heartedness towards Changyu, even when he is initially a stranger (Yimou 25:04-29:49). Similarly, Failan's simplicity and innocence are portrayed through her meek nature and her admiration for Kang-Jae, as evident in the first of her letters that he reads (Hae-sung 58:24-59:05). This characterisation presents the women as pure in the eyes of the audience, intensifying the eventual happiness in Zhao Di's case (as she marries Changyu) and the tragedy in Failan's case (as she dies before meeting Kang-Jae).


While the two films share similarities in plot structure, they differ in tonal consistency. In The Road Home, the interweaving of the inner (flashbacks) and outer (the present) story maintains a consistent tone throughout the film. Indeed, it is apparent throughout the film that the inner story provides additional context to the outer story, ensuring a continuous focus on the enduring love between the narrator's parents. On the other hand, in Failan, the interweaving of the present and the past gives the impression of two unrelated stories. The film initially focuses on Kang-jae's gangster life for the first 37 minutes before abruptly introducing the existence of Failan (Hae-sung 36:47-37:09). This shift in tone takes the film on a more sentimental melodramatic route, creating a tonal inconsistency not present in The Road Home. Per Utin (48-49), tonal inconsistency creates an abrupt genre shift, causing audience discomfort.

The Road Home and Failan also differ in their approach to mise-en-scene and cinematography. The former utilises expressive mise-en-scene elements captured through long, static shots, often showcasing the natural beauty of the countryside (Yimou 29:20-29:54). The film's colour and lighting are intense and bright. In contrast, Failan presents scenes in a variety of locations, both indoors and outdoors. While some shots are static, dissolves are employed to transition between scenes, unlike The Road Home's predominant use of cuts (Hae-sung 57:23). Additionally, the colour and lighting in Failan are not as intense. Overall, Failan's grittier mise-en-scene and cinematography reflect the characters' harsh lives, while The Road Home’s expressive elements help to emphasise the vibrancy of its inner story.


Music is also employed differently in The Road Home and Failan. While both films predominantly feature diegetic sounds to amplify their sense of realism, they also incorporate non-diegetic sounds in soundtracks, albeit with variations. In The Road Home, traditional Chinese-inspired music is predominantly utilised, evoking a sense of nostalgia for the enduring love between the narrator's parents (Yimou 29:20-29:54). On the other hand, Failan incorporates both contemporary and classical soundtracks, with a primary focus on enhancing the emotional impact of scenes (Hae-sung 58:28-59:38).


Ultimately, "The Road Home" conveys a compelling argument about the enduring power of love through symbolism, plot structure, mis-en-scene, cinematography, sound, and characterisation. As the comparison with Failan reveals, the film employs a more expressive yet simple approach to conveying romantic drama. As a result, it can remain emotionally engaging and convey layered messages about love, loss, and human connection despite its overly positive and feel-good plot.

Alternative Interpretation

The rural village women gather at a paviliion far away from the construction site, watching their men having the meals prepared for them.

The release of the film marked the entry into the twenties-first century. Current scholars widely consider The Road Home, apart from telling an unadulterated love story of a young male teacher and rural girl, to be a film of appealing to the socialist ideal with the belief of bringing people back together through close bonding within a community, as well as reinforce the cruciality of nostalgic handcraft amid the rapid modernising contemporary society of China. As Rist interprets in his paper, the choice of black and white for the contemporary material by Zhang Yimou is somewhat critical of present-day China. The film is like a poetic tribute to the simplicity of more natural socialism in the 1950s and 60s. [9]However, the film implicitly offers critiques about the existing problems within the rural areas that are overshadowed by the enchanting love story of the couple and the communal bonding, namely the rural-urban gap, high illiteracy rate, poor accessibility, and public facilities. The outflow of young men from the Santunmen village, Luo Yusheng being one of them, is one of the problematic aspects of the rural-urban gap; Zhao Di’s illiteracy and villagers’ curiosity over Luo Changyu and the school is another manifestation; Luo Changyu’s death cause is indirectly linked with the poor accessibility of the village as well as the stagnated development of rural areas. There is one last issue that is often neglected and seldom included in the discourse of this film --- the deep-rooted patriarchal and superstitious beliefs that deprecate rural women without them realising it. The most prominent example is the name of Zhaodi (招娣), the literal Chinese translation is "wishing to have a younger brother." the rationale behind this is the deep-rooted patriarchal values that are especially rampant in rural regions.

Thus, I argue that what lies under the touching love story between Zhao Di and Luo Changyu is the cruel existence of gender inequality, especially in rural areas and villages, that is always justified by the name of superstitions and village customs, as well as normalised by the villagers.

As the film progresses, the aesthetic visuals, together with extra-diegetic music that tugs at the audience’s heartstrings, sometimes dissever with the voiceover of Luo Yusheng, which abruptly undermines the ineffable emotions the protagonists have for each other.

While Zhaodi is weaving the red lucky banner in accordance to the village's custom, Luo Yusheng, her son is explaning the story behind the cloth.

Scene 1 (Clip 1 00:15:50-00:16:29 )

In this scene, Zhao Di is weaving a red cloth attentively; several close-up shots of the procedures and Zhao Di’s concentrated face amplify her serious attitude toward the task. The scene is accompanied by the voiceover of Luo Yusheng, who is narrating about his mother’s refusal of the marriage proposals, despite his maternal grandmother’s earnest hope of finding a good husband for her. Then, he explains that the school building is not yet constructed after his father’s arrival. Therefore, the mayor enlisted all the men’s help, and according to the village custom, a red cloth must be hung on the ceiling beam of the new building for good luck. The cloth is named the Lucky Red manner, and the task of weaving undoubtedly falls on the village's prettiest girl, Zhao Di, his mother. He surmises that the cause behind her mother's exceptional effort in making the cloth is her limerence for her father.

Scene 2 (Clip 2 00:18:25- 00:19:46)

In this scene, Zhao Di gratefully prepares the best dish for Luo Changyu and hopes he can taste it. After putting her large bowl with Indigo patterns on it, she and other village women sit far from the construction site and observe men’s behaviours. While other women are giggling about their men, Zhao Di cannot move her eyes away from Luo Changyu's direction because she wants to confirm if he has consumed the meal prepared by her. Meanwhile, Luo Yusheng’s voiceover is about women were not allowed to participate in many things, for instance, the construction of buildings and drilling the wells, due to superstition, as it claims that they would bring bad luck.

According to the superstition, as mentioned by Luo Yusheng, women are not allowed to participate and get closer to the site of big events as they will bring bad luck.

These scenes and the voiceovers foreground Zhao Di’s infatuation with Luo Changyu. As an innocent girl who crushes on somebody for the first time to seek attention from Luo, she has strived her best in areas she excels at and to showcase her femininity, such as weaving, and catering, even at last, her efforts were in vain. Without saying, Zhao’s insistence and persistence captured Luo Changyu’s heart. Indeed, given her outstanding pulchritude, the possibility of Luo falling for her would be high.

Nevertheless, Luo Yusheng’s voiceovers, apart from narrating his mother’s affection toward his father, also objectively unveil the entrenched sexist values of the rural areas. The story itself has conventionally been deemed an idealised romantic tale between an urban elite and a rural illiterate girl, as well as a heartwarming account of the rustic community, yet what is often neglected is the underlying prejudice against gender, especially toward females. As mentioned above, Zhao Di, to gain admiration from Luo, deliberately input more effort than usual into housework, and the underlying rationale is that women who are familiar with chores are valued as exemplary paragon in the culture of rural regions and villages, that explains why Zhao Di are particularly motivated to carry out these tasks. Wang points out in her paper that “female identity is not natural, but a masquerade, a social construct.” [10]The role of social construction in shaping the female identity is equivocally exhibited by rural women, i.e., Zhao Di. As an illiterate young girl born and raised in Sanhetun, she is unlikely to jump out of the box and dissolve the authoritative framework of village custom and superstition that encapsulates her to be a potential candidate for the housewife. She is born that way, so as her female fellows who giggle carefreely when they are forbidden to get near the construction site merely because the rule book of superstition laid down the code with the reasoning: that women would bring bad luck. Moreover, Zhao Di may even feel proud of herself for being appointed to weave the Lucky Red Banner since it is a pride for her to be the most beautiful lady in the village. However, it presumably involved a male gaze, proving women's rivalry for beauty in a patriarchal society. Hence, I would argue that the film, despite showing an appreciative attitude toward the rustic and pure attributes of Sanhetun that are rarely found in present-day China, or even as Rist and Chow suggest, “the cinematic allure…is still part of the logic of a socialist ideal, with the belief in bringing people together, in forging a bond and coherence between human action and the universe.” [11] Still, through the objective lens of Luo Yusheng, who has received education under compulsory education and develops certain exposure toward the universal values, i.e. gender equality, critical mindset, the film reveals the profound issues permeated the agrarian society and would like to offer a solution to it, i.e. education.

That being said, Zhao Di, despite being an individual constrained by the traditional patriarchal framework, still exhibits a certain kind of rebellious spirit that is acknowledged by the modern point of view, as remarked by her son. For the sake of love, she is not deterred by the thought of others toward her for being bold and exceptional in her era. Instead, she takes up the active position and renders Luo her love object. Also, without Zhao Di’s effort i`4n pursuit of Mr Luo, the kids, especially young girls, in the village would remain illiterate and secluded from the common values of present society and become the next generation of housewives without considering other possibilities that are available to them. In other words, the crucialness of education, another highlight of the film, is a way to liberate the future generation of the country areas.


In conclusion, "The Road Home" directed by Zhang Yimou has garnered both positive reception from the audience and acclaim from critics. The film's poignant storytelling, stunning visuals, and exploration of themes such as love, nostalgia, and societal change have resonated with viewers and garnered critical praise.

Audiences have embraced the film for its heartfelt depiction of a young couple's enduring love and the nostalgic portrayal of rural Chinese life. The film's emotional resonance, coupled with its beautiful cinematography, has captivated viewers, evoking a sense of longing and nostalgia.The use of different colors in the film also allows the audience to have a deeper understanding of the plot and the current social situation at that time. Black and white represents the current life, and color represents good memories.

Critics have lauded Zhang Yimou's directorial prowess and his ability to craft a visually stunning and emotionally engaging narrative. The film's allegorical elements, social commentary, and historical context have been appreciated for their depth and thought-provoking nature. Zhang's sensitive portrayal of characters and the film's universal themes have further solidified its standing as a significant work of Chinese cinema.

In light of our group's evaluation, we highly recommend "The Road Home" to viewers who appreciate artful storytelling, visually striking cinematography, and a touch of nostalgia. This film is likely to resonate with those who enjoy heartfelt romantic dramas and appreciate the exploration of cultural and historical contexts. The delicate portrayal of love, the immersive visual experience, and the thought-provoking themes make "The Road Home" a compelling and memorable cinematic experience.

Our recommendation is based on the film's ability to touch the hearts of audiences, its artistic merit, and its impact in capturing the essence of a bygone era while providing insights into the changing Chinese society. "The Road Home" offers a poignant and visually captivating journey that leaves a lasting impression, making it a film worth watching and cherishing.



  1. Film highlights. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Rizt, Peter (August 2002). "Zhang Yimou's The Road Home". Offscreen: Hong Kong Focus. 6: 1.
  3. Interview with the film's creator. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. Chow, Rey (Autumn 2002). ""Sentimental Returns: On the Uses of the Everyday in the Recent Films of Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-Wai."". Everyday Life. 33: 652.
  5. Mu, Aili (September 2003). "Imaginary Constructs as Instruments of Critical Engagement: Titanic Reference in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home". Asian Cinema. 14: 42.
  6. Dimitri, Tsahuridis (July 2000). ""The Road Home"". Senses of Cinema.
  7. Stone, Alan (October 2001). ""Zhang Yimou's Long Road Home."". Boston Review.
  8. Rist, Peter (August 2002). ""Zhang Yimou's The Road Home."". Offscreen: Hong Kong Focus. 6.
  9. Rist, Peter (August 2002). "Zhang Yimou's The Road Home". Offscreen: Hong Kong Focus. 6: 2.
  10. Wang, Lingzhen (December 2019). "Zhang Nuanxin's Socially Committed Mainstream Film Practice of the 1980s". Camera Obscura: Feminine, Culture and Media Studies. 34: 178.
  11. Chow, Ray (Autumn 2002). "On the Uses of the Everyday in the Recent Fimls of Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-Wai". Everyday Life. 33: 645.