Blind Mountain (Mang Shan) (2007) (China)
Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:45 am
Director: Li Yang
Cast: Huang Lu
A girl from the big city thought she was offered a prospective job in a rural area. Upon waking up, she realized that she had been sold as a bride ... What did the future lie for her? Would she be able to escape?
For this film, it might be better for me to first articulate my "concerns/reservations" etc (or what could be better) before articulating what i liked ... yup, the film is worth crediting too ...
-- The topic is important. There are many girls who are victims. But it is important (albeit difficult) to separate the technical qualities of the film from its message. In a way, there are few surprises because some other films about human trafficking preceded this, except that the girls are mainly being prostituted rather than sold as brides (e.g., Lilya 4 ever; Justine, etc). So, the shock value might have decreased, and all that remained might be how well the director kept the tension, or crafted the characterization.
-- However, UNLIKE prior films, this film did have a few creditable differences ...
(i) The director did NOT opt for excessive violence and gore, but instead depicted how these brides were allowed to live and roam around, but never truly escaped ... every time the girl tried to escape, the audience were made to wonder whether she would succeed.
(ii) The director also tried to evoke some empathy (for the "abducting" family) by depicting their "plain/simple" desire to have a daughter-in-law so as to have a grandson. In a way, they have also been cheated (by the middleman) and have paid a huge some of money for the bride ...
(iii) The ending was realistic/good (i.e., thought provoking), and "human enough" (i.e., it depicted how different women would behave, weighing what mattered to them differently) ...
Recommended mainly for its importance (theme/message) rather than its plot ... The film also came across as very realistic and credible.