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Sunflower

Where to Watch Sunflower

2005

Sunflower is a Chinese movie concerning the complex familial relationships that exist between a mother, her daughter, and her daughter's husband. Directed by Zhang Yang, the film encompasses some of the most profound emotional and psychological journeys that one can take as he explores the delicate nuances of human relationships.

The plot begins with Xiangyang (played by Zhang Fan), a young Chinese artist, returning to his hometown after having spent several years in Italy. He is married to his Italian girlfriend, Lucia, and they are expecting their first child. However, on his return, he finds that his mother, who had been a devoted communist party member and had spent her life working in a Shanghai factory, has not only retired but has also developed a sense of fatalism about life. She believes that, at her age, she can die any day, and therefore has started living recklessly. Meanwhile, Xiangyang's wife is attempting to adjust to life in China but finds herself at odds with her mother-in-law, who is irked by her seemingly foreign traditions and ways of life.

The tension between the comically mismatched Lucia and the traditional Jingying (Joan Chen) is realistic and palpable through the film's evolving family dynamic, even as discord worsens when it is revealed that Xiangyang has also been secretly seeing his former lover, Xiaomei. Xiaomei, an enigmatic and passionate artist, is putting on a performance art spectacle that involves Xiangyang, but as the viewer quickly discovers, the lines between professional and personal attachments become blurred. Jingying, meanwhile, is suffering from the abandonment issues that have plagued her for years, feeling left behind by her son and tortured by the evanescent nature of life.

What is fascinating about Sunflower is its ability to examine the intricacies of Chinese familial relationships and the generational gap in a way that is both nuanced and compelling. Jingying, who had lived through tremendous political upheaval and had been a part of a factory collective that had brought her a sense of purpose and stability, now feels adrift in a rapidly globalizing and capitalist China. Meanwhile, Xiangyang, who had spent most of his life railing against the strictures of the party and who had found inspiration in the art of insubordination, feels similarly adrift in a world in which the constraints of politics are replaced by a set of external economic factors.

Throughout the film, there is a palpable sense of longing and sadness that permeates the air. Each character, in their own way, is reaching out for a feeling of belonging, for the sense of connection that would provide them with the stability and grounding they require. However, these efforts are often futile, as each character's definition of belonging is superseded by a longing for something else. For Jingying, it is the longing for her lost youth and the lost revolutionary spirit of the collective. For Xiangyang, it is the longing for a sense of autonomy and purpose in his life. For Lucia, it is the longing for acceptance and a sense of home in a foreign land that is not truly hers. Each character, it seems, is fighting a battle that they cannot win.

Sunflower is a film about the beauty of human relationships; how they are both incredibly complex and incredibly fragile, like petals on a flower. Each character is searching for a sense of purpose and belonging, but as they travel along that journey, they often find themselves stumbling and falling. What is remarkable about this movie is not only its ability to reflect on this shared human experience but also how it does so in a way that is so relatable and heartfelt. The performances are raw and powerful, and the pacing of the film is deftly handled, allowing each character and their delicately crafted arcs to shine.

In conclusion, Sunflower is an epic film that delves deep into relationships and the complexities that come tied with it. This story is an emotional journey that showcases the struggles endured by different generations of Chinese people amidst changing ideologies and globalisation. While treasuring a love for those who came before them, the young in Sunflower must learn to accept and understand new ideas and surroundings. It highlights the uncertainties of life and the fact that, in the end, what remains is the power of human connection.

Sunflower is a Drama, Romance movie released in 2005. It has a runtime of 129 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 64.

How to Watch Sunflower

Where can I stream Sunflower movie online? Sunflower is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Sunflower for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.2/10
64/100
Director
Zhang Yang
Stars
Sun Haiying, Joan Che, nLiu Zifeng, Zhang Fan, Gao GeWang Haidi
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