3 out of 5 stars
A Chinese family saga in three acts, Sunflower first introduces us to nine-year-old Xiangyang in 1976, when his father (Sun) returns from six years in a reeducation camp, determined to orchestrate the boy’s life. (His mother is played by the dependable Joan Chen.) The contentious father-son relationship is picked up again in 1987 and in 1999, as the two clash over school, girlfriends, career, grandchildren—you name it. Ultimately, Sunflower is more interesting for its time-lapse snapshots of Beijing in transition than for its schematic soap-opera plot.

By: Tom Beer


Release details

Rated: NR
Duration: 129 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Zhang Yang
Cast: Joan Chen
Sun Haiying
Gao Ge
Haidi Wang