Life on a String - Bian zou bian chang

Kaige Chen, China, 1991

Life on a String - Bian zou bian chang

Kaige ChenChina – 1991

A blind master wanders through a mythic landscape of a terrific beauty to play his songs and sing his ballads. His whole life he's had one hope, one dream of another world: According to a prophecy he shall be able to see, if he has broken 1000 of his banjo strings. His blind disciple, on the contrary, doesn't want to rely on one hope. He longs for a woman's love. Does sight await the saint when the 1000th string breaks? Can the disciple's strength of character overcome provincial prejudice to win the hand of his love and a place in the village?

Original Title Life on a String - Bian zou bian chang
German Title Die Weissagung
French Title La vie sur mille cordes
Other Titles Life on a String
Directed by Kaige Chen
Country China
Available Formats 35mm
Screenplay Chen Kaige
Film Editing Pei Xiaonan
Soundtrack Qu Xiaosong
Cinematography Gu Changwei
Sound Tao Jing
Production Serene Productions; Beijing Film Studio; China Film Co-Production Corporation; Pandora Film
Runtime 119 Min.
Language Mandarin/d/f
Liu Zhongyuan Der alte Meister
Huang Lei Shitou, sein Schüler
Xu Qing Lanxiu
Zhang Zhenguan Besitzer des Restaurants
Ma Ling seine Frau

Istanbul Filmfestival
Golden Tulip

Filmfestival Cannes

«Véritable poésie cinématographique, film aux nombreux superlatifs visuels avec, en toile de fond, les paysages sauvages et impressionnants de la Mongolie intérieure.» Variety

«'Life on a string' est un conte merveilleux, d'une très grande beauté plastique, qui raconte l'itinéraire d'un «saint» jusqu'au dernier niveau du nirvana spirituel.» Le Quotidien de Paris

«Auch ich glaube, dass jeder Mensch ein Ziel vor Augen braucht. Doch was für ein Ziel auch immer wir anstreben, am Ende ist es nur ein leeres Stück Papier. Beim Tode wird man zurückdenken, an viele Dinge, die in der Vergangenheit geschehen sind... Wenn man mit Freude gelebt hat und wirklich etwas Gutes getan hat, dann reicht das schon, das ist der ganze Sinn des Lebens; man braucht ein Ziel vor Augen, aber es ist nicht nötig, dieses Ziel zu erreichen.» Chen Kaige


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