In the Wild Mountains | Chicago Reader

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In this 1985 Chinese film, two peasant brothers—one mercurial and adventurous, the other oafish and resistant to change—come to realize that each is more temperamentally compatible with the other's wife after a government edict frees them to make money on their own. Director Yan Xueshu turns this unlikely premise into a pastorale about changing social mores, questioning the charms of a market economy that has turned peasants into coin counters. Cinematographer Mi Anqing lovingly records the small pleasures of life in a village whose farm huts and mountains seem to have survived centuries of toil, richly articulating the rural realism that was a pet cause of China's “Fifth Generation” filmmakers.

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