The Story of Qiu Ju is a mesmerizing Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern). Gong Li, who starred in the director's two previous movies, plays a stubborn and idealistic peasant woman who wants a wrong righted. During an argument with the village chief, her husband has his genitals kicked in. Qiu Ju considers this offense to be an abuse of power. She waits for an apology but it never comes. Although pregnant, she travels to town to pursue the matter with the authorities. Not satisfied with their judgment a financial settlement but no apology or admission of guilt she takes the matter to the city, the county seat, and eventually to the capitol. The film offers a fascinating glimpse of modern day China where the contrast between urban and rural life is quite amazing. It also probes the different shades of morality in a society where saving face and bureaucratic rigamorole are the orders of the day. But most interesting of all is the very human portrait of a woman so obsessed with justice that she is willing to jeopardize everything for it until in an unusual and humorous reversal of fortunes, she sees the situation from a different perspective. Be careful what you wish for, the Chinese folk saying goes, because you could get it.
The Story of Qiu Ju
A mesmerizing Chinese film about a woman who is zealous for justice.