The Info List - Hibiscus Town

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Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
(simplified Chinese: 芙蓉镇; traditional Chinese: 芙蓉鎮; pinyin: Fúróng zhèn) is a 1986 Chinese film directed by Xie Jin, based on a novel by the same name written by Gu Hua. The film, a melodrama, follows the life and travails of a young woman who lives through the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
and as such is an example of the "scar drama" genre that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s that detailed life during that period. The film was produced by the Shanghai Film Studio. The film won Best Film for 1987 Golden Rooster Awards
Golden Rooster Awards
and Hundred Flowers Awards, as well as Best Actress awards for Liu Xiaoqing at both ceremonies. It was also selected as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 60th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[1] The village in Hunan
province where the film was made, was initially known as Wang Village (王村; pinyin: Wáng cūn). In 2007, the village was renamed Furong zhen (芙蓉镇) owing to this film.[2]


1 Cast 2 Plot 3 Reception 4 Awards 5 See also 6 Further reading 7 References 8 External links


Liu Xiaoqing as Hu Yuyin, the film's heroine, a young woman who is caught up in the political turmoil of China's Cultural Revolution. She originally sells rice beancurd with her husband. Liu Linian as Li Guigui, Yuyin's first husband Jiang Wen
Jiang Wen
as Qin Shutian, a "bourgeoisie" rightist who falls in love with Yuyin Zheng Zaishi as Gu Yanshan, the granary director Zhu Shibin as Wang Qiushe Xu Songzi as Li Guoxiang Zhang Guangbei as Li Mangeng

Plot[edit] The film follows Hu Yuyin (Liu Xiaoqing), a young and hardworking woman in a small Chinese town on the eve of the Cultural Revolution. She is happily married and runs a successful roadside food stall selling spicy beancurd. Yuyin is supported by Party members Li Mangeng (Zhang Guangbei), who once wanted to marry her, and Director Gu (Zheng Zaishi), a war veteran in charge of the granary. But in 1964 the Four Cleanups Movement sends a Party work-team to root out Rightists and capitalist roaders. The team is led by Li Guoxiang (Xu Songzi), a single woman, assisted by Wang Qiushe (Zhu Shibin), a former poor peasant who has lost his land because of his drinking. At a public struggle session, Yuyin is declared to be a "new rich peasant." Both her home and business are taken from her and her husband, Li Guigui (Liu Linian) is executed for trying to kill Li Guoxiang. After the first waves of the Revolution have ended, Yuyin, now relegated to a lowly street sweeper, returns to the town. She then falls in love with Qin Shutian (Jiang Wen), who had come in the 1950s to collect local folksongs but was declared to be one of the Five Black Categories. When Yuyin becomes pregnant, however, this loving relationship attracts the outrage of Li Guoxiang and Wang Qiushe, who themselves are having a secret affair. Shutian is sent to reform through labor and it is not until Deng Xiaoping's reforms in 1978 that his case is reviewed and he is allowed to return and help Yuyin re-establish their food stall. At the end of the film, Li Guoxiang continues to hold a position in the bureaucracy while Wang Qiushe loses his mind. Reception[edit] The film was very well received domestically and was voted by Chinese film audiences as one of the three best films of 1987. It remains however quite obscure outside China. Gilbert Adair of Time Out magazine gave the film his endorsement, calling it "a potent blend of the political and personal":

"Xie's portrait of China's traumatic, turbulent history ranges from '63 to the post-'Gang of Four' years, his palette the changing fortunes of an entangled group of individuals. It's impressive both for the elegant precision with which the director fills his scope frame with small, significant details, and for the discreet understatement that controls his own special brand of epic melodrama. In some ways similar to the classic romances of Frank Borzage, Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
is a moving account of survival in the face of widespread social and political madness, told with clarity, compassion and insight."[3]


Golden Rooster Awards, 1987

Best Film Best Actress — Liu Xiaoqing Best Supporting Actress — Xu Songzi Best Art Direction— Jin Qifen

Hundred Flowers Awards, 1987

Best Film — tied with Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Xue zhan Taierzhuang Best Actor — Jiang Wen Best Actress — Liu Xiaoqing Best Supporting Actor — Zhu Shibin

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 1988

Crystal Globe, Grand Prix[4]

See also[edit]

Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
- background of the film List of submissions to the 60th Academy Awards
60th Academy Awards
for Best Foreign Language Film List of Chinese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Further reading[edit]

Browne, Nick. "Society and Subjectivity: On the Political Economy of Chinese Melodrama," in New Chinese Cinemas: Forms, Identities, Politics. Cambridge: CUP, 1994, 57-87. Hayford, Charles W. "Hibiscus Town: Revolution, Love and Bean Curd." In Chris Berry, ed., Chinese Films in Focus: 25 New Takes. London: BFI Publishing, 2003, 120-27. Kipnis, Andrew. "Anti-Maoist Gender: Hibiscus Town's Naturalization of a Dengist Sex/Gender/Kinship System." Asian Cinema 8, 2 (Winter 1996-97): 66-75.


^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ^ http://you.ctrip.com/sight/xiangxi496/17371.html ^ http://www.timeout.com/london/film/hibiscus-town. Retrieved on March 20, 2015. ^ Marion, Donald J. (1997). The Chinese Filmography. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0786403055. 

External links[edit]

Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
on IMDb Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
at AllMovie Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
article from China.org Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
from the Chinese Movie Database Overview and questions of Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
from Ohio State University

v t e

Crystal Globe
Crystal Globe

The Last Stage (1948) The Battle of Stalingrad (1949) The Fall of Berlin (1950) Dream of a Cossack
Dream of a Cossack
(1951) The Unforgettable Year 1919 (1952) True Friends – Salt of the Earth (1954) If All the Guys in the World (1956) Jagte Raho (1957) Stepbrothers – And Quiet Flows the Don (1958) Seryozha (1960) Nine Days in One Year
Nine Days in One Year
(1962) Accused (1964) No award (1966) Capricious Summer
Capricious Summer
(1968) Kes (1970) Taming of the Fire
Taming of the Fire
(1972) A Lover's Romance (1974) La Cantata de Chile (1976) White Bim Black Ear
White Bim Black Ear
Shadows of a Hot Summer
Shadows of a Hot Summer
(1978) The Fiancee (1980) Mexico in Flames (1982) Leo Tolstoy (1984) A Street to Die (1986) Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
(1988) No award (1990) Krapatchouk (1992) My Soul Brother (1994) The Ride (1995) Prisoner of the Mountains
Prisoner of the Mountains
(1996) Ma vie en rose (1997) Streetheart (1998) Yana's Friends
Yana's Friends
(1999) Me You Them
Me You Them
(2000) Amélie
(2001) Year of the Devil
Year of the Devil
(2002) Facing Windows
Facing Windows
(2003) A Children's Story
A Children's Story
(2004) My Nikifor (2005) Sherrybaby
(2006) Jar City (2007) Terribly Happy (2008) Angel at Sea (2009) The Mosquito Net
The Mosquito Net
(2010) Restoration (2011) The Almost Man (2012) The Notebook (2013) Corn Island (2014) Bob and the Trees
Bob and the Trees
(2015) It's Not the Time of My Life (2016) Little Crusader (2017)

v t e

Golden Rooster Award for Best Picture


Evening Rain (1981) Legend of Tianyun Mountain (1981) Neighbor (1982) Rickshaw Boy (1983) At Middle Age (1983) Voice from Hometown (1984) The Girl in Red (1985) Wild Mountains (1986) Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1987) Hibiscus Town
Hibiscus Town
(1987) Red Sorghum (1988) Old Well (1988)


Founding Ceremony (1990) Jiao Yulu (1991) Decisive Engagement: The Liaoxi Shenyang Campaign (1992) The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
(1993) Country Teachers (1994) The Accused Uncle Shangang (1995) Red Cherry (1996) The Opium War (1997) Live in Peace (1998) Postmen in the Mountains
Postmen in the Mountains


The Road Home (2000) Roaring Across the Horizon (2000) Fatal Decision (2000) Mao Zedong, 1925 (2001) Pretty Big Feet
Pretty Big Feet
(2002) Charging Out Amazon (2002) The River Wild (2003) Nuan
(2003) Shanghai Story
Shanghai Story
(2004) On the Mountain of Tai Hang (2005) Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2005) The Knot (2007) Assembly (2009) Forever Enthralled
Forever Enthralled


Shenzhou 11 (2011) American Dreams in China
American Dreams in China
(2013) The Story of Zhou Enlai (2013)