Zhang and his constant muse Gong Li reinvent themselves (and Chinese social-realist cinema in the process) with this docu-drama about a peasant woman's dogged fight for what she thinks is justice. Qiu Ju is furious when the chief of her village refuses to apologise for kicking her husband in the balls during a fight, and takes the matter to court to demand compensation; the film charts her stubborn climb up the legal hierarchy. The plot seems expressly designed to placate the bureaucrats who banned Zhang's two previous films in China, but the quasi-documentary approach (involving scores of non-professional actors, hidden cameras and radio mikes) is brilliantly finessed.
The Story of Qiu Ju
Cast and crew