Celis, Rebekah Gail C.


The Colors of Home: A Screen Report on Zhang Yimou’s The Road Home

Time and beauty may fade, but tradition and love is forever. In the 1999 Chinese film
The Road Home (otherwise known as Wo De Fu Qin Mu Qin), Zhang Yimou captured the
essence of a long-lived but faded tradition called “in a small village in China. The Road Home
garnered around 11 awards and 3 nominations from different film festivals and competitions all
over the world.

When I first saw the film, I was not very impressed with the story, but I was
dumbfounded by how it was told. After that, I realized that The Road Home could be one of my
favorite Chinese films. Because of the film’s artistic presentation, I failed to notice any cinematic
flaw (if there were any). All I could remember was that I was left in awe with the how the
characters delivered their roles and how the movie was filmed. The film, unlike other Chinese
films, is plot-oriented. All the character’s experiences and all their actions were realistic, like
they were really drawn from real life. It is no wonder how Zhang Zi Yi bagged the title as the
Best Actress in the 2000 Hundred Flowers Awards, as she really carried the role out perfectly.

The reason why I like this film is because of its imagery and artistic film language. Zhang
Yimou used colors to show the viewers a message that could only be found through the colors he
used to filter the film –the black and white filtered scenes in the first and last part of the film as
those that are mournful and dull, and the vibrant scenes in the middle as those that symbolize life
and how saturated life was before death came to the main character’s family. Also, it used a
combination of the different film elements like the music, the hue and the story itself to present
the film’s plot in a way that the audience will not forget. For instance, in the scene where the
workers were taking the food the women made, the festive music was a way of telling another
story, like how enthusiastic Di cooked everyday in hopes that the teacher would soon eat her
prepared meal. Because of the music, small details like this are easy to remember.

I recommend watching this film. It opens our eyes to the culture and tradition of some
people in China. Also, it makes us want to appreciate the beauty of life as portrayed in the film’s

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