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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

China

Program Title: Withered Tree [Ku mu feng chun]
EASC Code: CW-01
Series Title:
Region/Country: China
Language:
Subtitles:
Subject: Movie & TV Drama
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Director:
Producer: Central Studios N. 2
Release Date: 1961
Running Time:
Color or BW: BW
Program Abstract: The title is an idiom for “a new lease on life.” This film demonstrates how socialist construction brings about fundamental changes to the lives of peasants dwelling in poverty-stricken, disease-ridden areas. In pre-liberation China, Ku Meizi (“Bitter Sister”), an orphan girl, is purchased by the Fang family as their son’s future wife. She is treated very well by her fiancĂ© and future-in-laws, and looks forward to a happy life. All changes when an epidemic of schistosomanaisis (the “blood-sucking disease”) breaks out, forcing the family to migrate to a safer area. On the way, Bitter Sister becomes separated from her family in a chaotic moment when the nationalist army comes to enlist young man for the civil war. With no way of making a living, she marries someone else. However, her husband soon dies of the disease, and she herself falls ill with it. After liberation, she meets again her former fiancĂ© Fang Dong, now a tractor driver. Their joy of reuniting is tempered by her sadness at still carrying the disease. With the care of the people’s government, her illness is finally cured. She and Fang are married and soon have a healthy set of twins. The family looks forward to a happy future.
Data Entry Date: 1/25/1999