Platform

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  • 2000
  • 2 hr 34 min
  • 7.3  (3,049)
  • 76

Platform is a Chinese drama film that tells the story of a group of artists who are part of a provincial theatrical troupe in the 1970s. The film features an ensemble cast, including Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, and Jing Dong Liang, and was directed by Jia Zhangke. The film opens with the troupe arriving in a small town in the early 1970s at the start of the Cultural Revolution. They are assigned to perform revolutionary plays and songs for the local peasants and workers, in accordance with the government's campaign to promote socialist values and ideals.

The group is led by two main characters, Cui Minliang (Hongwei Wang) and Yin Ruijuan (Tao Zhao), who are both in their early twenties and full of idealism and enthusiasm for their art. Cui is the troupe's director, while Yin is a singer and actress who is in love with him.

At first, the troupe is met with great enthusiasm by the locals, who are eager to see the latest revolutionary plays and songs. The artists perform on makeshift stages in dusty, crowded village squares, often improvising and changing their scripts to suit the mood of the audience.

As time goes on, however, the troupe begins to encounter more and more difficulties. They struggle to find enough food and shelter, and their performances are frequently interrupted by the local authorities or gangs of young Red Guards who accuse them of being insufficiently revolutionary.

Meanwhile, the lives of Cui and Yin become increasingly complicated. Cui, a talented but somewhat arrogant director, clashes with the more pragmatic members of the troupe and begins to feel disillusioned with the whole revolutionary project. Yin, meanwhile, becomes pregnant and must decide whether to marry Cui and start a family or continue pursuing her career as an artist.

As the years pass, the troupe's fortunes rise and fall with the changing political winds. They perform in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but also in remote, impoverished villages where audiences are scarce and the conditions are primitive.

Throughout it all, the artists remain committed to their craft and to each other, forging bonds of friendship and creativity that transcend the tumultuous political landscape of their time. The film ends with a powerful scene in which the artists, now in their middle age, reunite many years later and reflect on the joys and sorrows of their artistic journey.

Platform is a moving and insightful look at one of the most turbulent periods in modern Chinese history. With its skilled direction, strong performances, and beautifully rendered period detail, the film illuminates the challenges and triumphs of a generation of artists who struggled to create art in a time of chaos and upheaval.

Platform
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Description
  • Release Date
    2000
  • Runtime
    2 hr 34 min
  • Language
    English
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (3,049)
  • Metascore
    76