September 28, 2007

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Rated PG
107 minutes

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005)

September 28, 2007 at 7:30 and 10:30 pm in 10-250

Ken Takakura (The Yakuza) gives a career-redefining performance as an old fisherman in Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. Estranged from his son for many years, Gou-ichi (Takakura) receives an unexpected call from his daughter-in-law, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), asking him to come to Tokyo to visit his son, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), who is in the hospital suffering from a stomach ailment. Gou-ichi decides to make the trip against his better judgment, but when he arrives, his son refuses to see him as he is still bearing the scars of the unspoken reasons why they were torn apart. Determined to reunite them, Rie gives Gou-ichi a videotape of an article Ken-ichi wrote about Li Jiamin, a Chinese folk opera master from Yunnan Province. Ken-ichi had promised Li that he would come back and film him performing "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles," an opera based on one of the stories in the literary classic "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"; Gou-ichi makes it his mission to travel to southern China, find Li, and film the performance himself. With the help of tour guides Lingo (Qiu Lin) and Jasmine (Jiang Wen)--and a fabulous interval with young Yang Yang (Yang Zhenbo)--Gou-ichi takes off to the great unknown, trying to do right by the son who still appears to hate him. []

Sponsored by MISTI.

As a sad yet joyful celebration of cultural exchange, Riding Alone plays like a small miracle, unfolding in a world as it ought to be.
      -- Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times. Read this review.

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