The Old Well
by Wu Tianming
Director: Wu Tianming
Script: Zheng Yi
Cinematographer: Chen Wancai, Zhang Yimou
Music: Xu Youfou
Cast: Zhang Yimou, Liang Yujin, Lu Liping, Niu Xingli
Production: Xi’an Films Studio
35 mm, Colour, 124 min,
OV Mandarin with English Subtitles
French Electronic Subtitles
Though Sun Wangquan's grand-father understands his love for Qiaoying, he decides to marry him to Duan Xifeng, a young widow. The village is poor and there is no water. The widow's family can bring enough money to get brides for his other brothers. Wangquan is a well-digger with strong willpower. Helped by Qiaoying and his brother Wangcai, he searches for the appropriate site. He is still in love with Qiaoying, which does not make life easier for him. There is some prospect as they start to dig, but soon the well collapses on Qiaoying and Wangquan trapped inside. Will they be rescued? How will their mutual feelings develop while they are waiting? Will this accident prevent them from another attempt to find water?
Great Chinese director Zhang Yimou is the co-director of photography as well as the main actor of the film, for which he got the award of the best actor at Tokyo Festival in 1987.