The Info List - Story Of Qiu Ju

The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
(Chinese: 秋菊打官司; pinyin: Qiū Jú dǎ guān sī; literally: "Qiu Ju goes to court") is a 1992 Chinese comedy-drama film. The film was directed by Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou
and, as in many of his films, stars Gong Li
Gong Li
in the title role. The screenplay is an adaption of Chen Yuanbin's novella The Wan Family's Lawsuit. The film tells the story of a peasant woman, Qiu Ju, who lives in a rural area of China. When her husband is kicked in the groin by the village head, Qiu Ju, despite her pregnancy, travels to a nearby town, and later a big city to deal with its bureaucrats and find justice. The film was selected as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 65th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[1][2] The film was a hit at film festivals and won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
in 1992.[3]


1 Plot 2 Production 3 Home media 4 Awards and nominations 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Plot[edit] Qiu Ju is a peasant who lives in a small farming enclave with her husband Qinglai. She is in the final trimester of her pregnancy. One day while her husband is conversing to Wang Shantang, the head of the community, a miscommunication ensues. The leader feels insulted and beats Qinglai, kicking him so severely in the groin that he must see a doctor and remain absent from work. Qiu Ju goes to the local police office and complains. The policeman makes the village chief pay 200 yuan to Qinglai. When Qiu Ju goes to the headman, he insultingly throws the 200 yuan notes onto the ground and refuses to apologize. Qiu Ju then goes to the provincial capital accompanied by her husbands' younger sister, Meizi. By luck the two women find lodging at a cheap hotel. The two women meet the district police chief and he promises them that their case will be reviewed. The new verdict from the district police is that this time the village headman must pay 250 yuan. He still refuses to apologize and so Qiu Ju goes back to the big city and finds a lawyer who takes the case and files suit under a new law. The case is judged by the court as having been correctly resolved by the district, the fine remains at 250 yuan, Qiu Ju is unhappy but all she can do is make yet another appeal to an even higher level of police investigation. As part of the suit, officials come to the village and Qiu Ju's husband is X-rayed at the local hospital. It's now the middle of winter, Qiu Ju goes into labor. When sought help, the headman with a group of local men carries Qiu Ju to the hospital, where she gives birth safely to a healthy baby boy. A month later the whole village is invited to the "one-month party" for the baby. Qiu Ju and her husband invite the village chief too for his help in saving Qiu Ju's life. But he doesn't come, and the local policeman shows up to tell Qiu Ju that the X-rays revealed her husband had a broken rib. As a result, the village chief is being sent to jail on a fifteen-day-term. Qiu Ju tries to stop the police from taking the headman away but never even sees the police and the movie ends with Qiu Ju looking anguished. This ending, along with some selfish and anti-community behavior on the part of Qiu Ju and her husband expresses the difficulty of regarding the film as a simple fight against injustice. Rather, it shows the limitations of modern legal approaches in villages where old-style human relations underlie social life.[4] Production[edit] The film was set in present-day China (1992) in northwest Shaanxi province (an area which the director would return to in his film The Road Home). Many of the street scenes in the cities were filmed with a hidden camera so the images are a sort of documentary of China during the time of Deng Xiaoping. As film critic Roger Ebert said "along the way we absorb more information about the lives of ordinary people in everyday China than in any other film I've seen."[5] Home media[edit] The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
has been released several times on DVD. In the United States, the first release on Region 1 DVD
was by Columbia/TriStar Studio on July 20, 2000. More recently, the film was re-released by Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics
as part of their Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou
collection (which also included new versions of Ju Dou
Ju Dou
and Raise the Red Lantern) on March 28, 2006. Both versions include subtitles in English. An older VHS
cassette version of the film was also released in the United States by Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
on January 17, 1995. Awards and nominations[edit]

Venice Film Festival, 1992

Golden Lion OCIC Award - Honorable Mention Volpi Cup — Best Actress, Gong Li

Vancouver International Film Festival, 1992

Most Popular Film

Changchun Film Festival, 1992

Golden Deer

Golden Rooster Awards, 1993

Best Actress — Gong Li Best Film

Hundred Flowers Awards, 1993

Best Film

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics, 1993

Critics Award — Best Foreign Film, Zhang Yimou

Independent Spirit Awards, 1994

Best Foreign Film — Zhang Yimou

National Society of Film Critics Awards, 1994

Best Foreign Language Film

Time Out 100 best Chinese Mainland movies – #44[6] Included in The New York Times's list of The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made in 2004[7]

See also[edit]

List of submissions to the 65th Academy Awards
65th Academy Awards
for Best Foreign Language Film List of Chinese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film


^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ^ "Foreign Oscar entries submitted". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2015.  ^ "The Story of Qiu Ju". Cineplex. Retrieved 2017-06-26.  ^ Larson, Wendy (2017). Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture. Amherst, MA: Cambria Press. pp. 133–166. ISBN 9781604979756.  ^ Roger Eberts (May 28, 1993). "The Story of Qiu Ju". Chicago Sun Times.  ^ "100 best Chinese Mainland Films". Time Out. Retrieved 14 March 2016.  ^ "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 

External links[edit]

The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
on IMDb The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
at AllMovie The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
at Rotten Tomatoes

v t e

Films directed by Zhang Yimou

Red Sorghum (1987) Codename Cougar
Codename Cougar
(1988) Ju Dou
Ju Dou
(1990) Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern
(1991) The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
(1992) To Live (1994) Shanghai Triad
Shanghai Triad
(1995) Lumière and Company
Lumière and Company
(segment) (1995) Keep Cool (1997) Not One Less
Not One Less
(1999) The Road Home (1999) Happy Times
Happy Times
(2000) Hero (2002) House of Flying Daggers
House of Flying Daggers
(2004) Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
(2005) Curse of the Golden Flower
Curse of the Golden Flower
(2006) To Each His Own Cinema
To Each His Own Cinema
(segment: Movie Night) (2007) A Simple Noodle Story
A Simple Noodle Story
(2009) Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010) The Flowers of War
The Flowers of War
(2011) Coming Home (2014) The Great Wall (2016) Shadow (2018)

v t e

Golden Lion
Golden Lion
winning films


Manon (1949) Justice Is Done
Justice Is Done
(1950) Rashomon
(1951) Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) No award (1953) Romeo and Juliet (1954) Ordet
(1955) No award (1956) Aparajito
(1957) Rickshaw Man (1958) General Della Rovere
General Della Rovere
/ The Great War (1959) Tomorrow Is My Turn (1960) Last Year at Marienbad
Last Year at Marienbad
(1961) Family Diary
Family Diary
/ Ivan's Childhood
Ivan's Childhood
(1962) Hands over the City
Hands over the City
(1963) Red Desert (1964) Sandra (1965) The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
(1966) Belle de Jour (1967) Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed (1968)


Atlantic City / Gloria (1980) Marianne and Juliane
Marianne and Juliane
(1981) The State of Things (1982) First Name: Carmen (1983) A Year of the Quiet Sun (1984) Vagabond (1985) The Green Ray (1986) Au revoir les enfants
Au revoir les enfants
(1987) The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988) A City of Sadness
A City of Sadness
(1989) Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) Urga (1991) The Story of Qiu Ju
The Story of Qiu Ju
(1992) Short Cuts / Three Colours: Blue (1993) Vive L'Amour / Before the Rain (1994) Cyclo (1995) Michael Collins (1996) Fireworks (1997) The Way We Laughed
The Way We Laughed
(1998) Not One Less
Not One Less
(1999) The Circle (2000)


Monsoon Wedding
Monsoon Wedding
(2001) The Magdalene Sisters
The Magdalene Sisters
(2002) The Return (2003) Vera Drake (2004) Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
(2005) Still Life (2006) Lust, Caution
Lust, Caution
(2007) The Wrestler (2008) Lebanon (2009) Somewhere (2010) Faust (2011) Pietà (2012) Sacro GRA
Sacro GRA
(2013) A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
(2014) From Afar (2015) The Woman Who Left (2016) The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water

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) Wolf