The story is adapted from the novel, The Criminal Lu Yanshi written by novelist Geling Yan. Lu Yanshi, (“Yanshi” literally means “how to recognize”) was a professor before being sent to the labor camp (laogai, literally “reform through labor”) during the Cultural Revolution. He escaped from the labor camp in Xining to meet his long-missed wife Feng Wanyu and daughter Dandan.
However, the police were already waiting outside the house to arrest him. Dandan, who was then a teenage ballerina, could not play the leading role in Red Detachment of Women due to her father’s outlaw status. Under the temptation of regaining the leading role, Dandan revealed her parents’ secret meeting plan to the police. The meeting ended with the capture of Lu and Dandan getting the supporting role.
After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Lu came home only to find his broken family, his wife suffering from amnesia and his daughter working as textile worker. Under the shock of a former official’s sexual harassment, his wife sometimes recognized him as Officer “Fang” instead of being her husband. To reawaken his wife’s memory, Lu played out as a total stranger just to be near with his wife. Although she recognized him as a letter reader or a piano tuner, he never could be able to be close enough to live with his chaste wife.
During these years, Lu continued to write to his wife as a way of communicating with her, and to convince his wife to forgive their daughter. The movie ended with Feng waiting to receive her husband outside the railway station and Lu standing with her on a snowy day, pretending to be pedicab driver.
Coming Home is a Chinese drama film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li. It was released in the US September 11, 2015.
Coming Home had its international premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in the out of competition section. It is scheduled to be screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film grossed ¥23.7 million (US$3.80 million) on the first day in China and reached US$46,000,000. It earned a total of US$49.7 million internationally.
Directed by: Yimou Zhang
Starring: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Huiwen Zhang, Tao Guo, Ni Yan, Chun Li, Peiqi Liu
Screenplay by: Geling Yan
Cinematography by: Xiaoding Zhao
Music by: Qigang Chen
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some thematic material.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: September 11, 2015