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Director Lou Ye was banned for five years from making films in China because of this one, his fourth feature, which didn't make it past the government censors. And it's hard to imagine how this landmark, taboo-breaking feature could, with its volatile mix of copious sex and oppositional politics. The film follows Yu Hong (played by vibrant new actress Hao Lei) and her girl- and boyfriends from the time they're admitted to a top Beijing university just before the violent 1989 democratic uprising, through the uprising's aftermath, and into their long, somewhat anticlimactic drift toward adulthood in Berlin, Wuhan, and Chongqing. Lou's mobile camera captures the flushed energy of the faces and bodies of beautiful youths in love with all the verve and commitment of the early French New Wave. In Mandarin and German with subtitles. 140 min.

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