Coming Home

Coming Home ★★★★

The great Chinese director Zhang Yimou returns to the screen with a politically brave and poignant film about the long-term adverse affects of the '60s Cultural Revolution on a married couple and their young daughter. Zhang's long-time muse, Gong Li gives an Oscar caliber performance as teacher Fong, whose husband Lu (a quietly nuanced performance by Chen Daoming) served several years in a labor camp as a political prisoner. Upon Lu's return from imprisonment, he discovers that his wife no longer recognizes fact she is suffering from a kind of amnesia similar to dementia when it comes to her husband. The film is sentimental without ever becoming maudlin or manipulative, mostly because the acting and direction are so assured. I had some reservations about the realism of the underlying psychology of Fong's affliction which, for me, was the only flaw in this otherwise superb film.