Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Zhang Yimou is my favourite Chinese director and Gong Li is definitely my favourite Chinese actress (err…or Singaporean actress now???)

Zhang Yimou’s movies are needless to say works of art. I’d give anything to be able to conceptualize, produce and direct such beautiful movies like he does. Before coming to China, his movies were just one of the many movies that I’d watched, appreciated and then put into my list of “favourites”.

Now that I’ve been living in China, I have come to appreciate the China that he had been trying since Day 1 to share with the rest of the world. And wow, does he do a good job!

If you have not watched Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, you should especially if you want a peek into the down-to-earth lifestyle of the rural people in Yunnan, China.


“Takada, a Japanese fisherman, has been estranged from his son for many years, but when the son is diagnosed with terminal cancer his daughter-in-law, Rie, summons him to the hospital. When his son refuses to see him, Rie gives him a videotape about the work his son was doing on a documentary film in a remote region of China’s Yunnan province.

Still troubled by the relationship, Takada decided to complete his son’s work in part to develop an understanding of his son, and in part to do something for him. Once in China, a series of obstacles and relationships bring him unexpectedly closer to both an understanding of himself and of his son.”

When the Hubby is away on a short trip or is stuck in a dinner meeting, the boy and I watch a DVD together (while his sister snoozes away on the sofa).

I think he’s going to be a movie freak like his Mum! He enjoys all the movies that I pick and I also enjoy answering the many questions that he asks when we watch a movie e.g.

“Why is the man always riding in the car?”

And I reply: “He is looking for the man who can do the special dance – the Chinese opera.”

And then he replies: “I think I like this show, Mummy.”


Here are some of my other favourite movies by Zhang Yimou and other directors featuring the beautiful Gong Li: