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Ranjan recommends RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES (2005, China)


The tags project the film as ‘understated, sentimental’, enough to put off a viewer desiring a packed and robust narrative; but in the hands of a master, ‘sentimentality’ is stripped of its negative connotations and assumes a dimension that heightens his viewing experience. An aged Japanese fisherman, denied by his ailing filmmaker-son to meet him at the hospital in Tokyo undertakes a long journey into the hinterlands of China to shoot a folk opera, a pet project of his son which he had not been able to complete because of his terminal illness; the intention being to reconcile with him through this effort. Perhaps it needed a foreigner as a protagonist to explore a country’s cultural heritage and complexities which a local protagonist, familiar with the mores wouldn’t have been able to bring out. What transpires is a visually delightful film that explores relationships with subtlety and brevity that attains a sublime level that stays with you long after you have watched it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaeBR9Ej_qs


RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES (2005, China) by Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou is streaming on Netflix.


Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.

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