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. The film was a hit at film festivals and won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival in 1992.
1 Plot 2 Production 3 Home media 4 Awards and nominations 5 See also 6 References 7 External links
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.
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."
The Story of Qiu Ju
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 Rooster Awards, 1993
Best Actress — Gong Li Best Film
Hundred Flowers Awards, 1993
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 Included in The New York Times's list of The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made in 2004
List of submissions to the
65th Academy Awards
^ 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.
v t e
Films directed by Zhang Yimou
Red Sorghum (1987)
v t e
Justice Is Done
Atlantic City / Gloria (1980)
Marianne and Juliane
v t e
Golden Rooster Award for Best Picture
Evening Rain (1981)
Legend of Tianyun Mountain (1981)
Rickshaw Boy (1983)
At Middle Age (1983)
Voice from Hometown (1984)
The Girl in Red (1985)
Wild Mountains (1986)
Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1987)
Founding Ceremony (1990)
Jiao Yulu (1991)
Decisive Engagement: The Liaoxi Shenyang Campaign (1992)
The Story of Qiu Ju
The Road Home (2000)
Roaring Across the Horizon (2000)
Fatal Decision (2000)
Mao Zedong, 1925 (2001)
Pretty Big Feet
Shenzhou 11 (2011)
American Dreams in China