Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Qiu Ju da guan si (The Story of Qiu Zhu)

Professor Frank Upham has this to say:

"The Story of Qiu Zhu is about the normative confusion caused when state law penetrates customary society, and specifically how a young wife, Qiu Zhu, tries to use law to get justice. Instead, she gets law and the movie is about the difference. It is set in a remote agricultural village in China at the time (1992) of the passage of the Administrative Litigation Law, which allowed citizens to sue officials for malfeasance. The village secretary and Qiu Zhu's husband have a fight, and the former injures the latter in a sensitive area of his body that affects him not only physically but as a matter of honor. Qiu Zhu takes it upon herself to get justice for her husband, first trying informal means, but eventually turning to the formal legal system. It is a great movie for those interested in law and development, law and culture, and modernization in general. It is also a very good movie - perhaps Zhang Yimo's best."

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