Back to Back, Face to Face (1994)

Back to Back, Face to Face (1994)
  • 327
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1994 ()
  • Running time: 138 min
  • Original Title: Bei kao bei, lian dui lian
  • Voted: 327

Wang Shuangli is Deputy Director of the local Cultural Centre, and hopes to be appointed Director. However Old Ma is brought in from the country and installed as Director. This starts a long train of events with Wang's cronies using the bureaucracy to try to oust the new director. At home, Wang has problems because his father wants Wang to have a son to carry on the family name. However, because of the one-child policy, Wang cannot have any more children unless his young daughter is certified infirm.

1Zhenhua NiuDeputy Director Wang Shuangli
2Kesheng LeiMa
3Qiang LiYen
4Hao JuAccountant Li
  • Well made, in-touch movie about life by 8

    First of all, I'm surprised this movie hasn't seen an American release. The style, acting, and direction are all pleasantly up to par with good Hollywood fare.

    The film takes us thought the life of a low level bureaucrat who's trying to become the director of the cultural ministry of a medium size Chinese city. Unfortunately, because his allies are all lower in the bureaucratic ladder, he only finds himself as the acting director - running the scenes while the upper level officials keep sending inferior, but better connected, individuals.

    From this basic plot flowers a fascinating view of contemporary Chinese society. Sub-plots cover the clash between the old world and the new, accepting one's lot in life, and what it truly takes to be happy - sprinkled with a great mixture of comedy, tragedy, and surprise. At a running time of about 2hrs and 20 minutes, it has enough time to cover roughly 2 years of time without feeling overlong.

    The best feature of this film is its accessibility. As a Westerner with no advanced knowledge of Chinese society, I found the characters understandable, approachable, and very sympathetic. The entire cast is exceptional. I recommend tracking down a copy of this movie. If you found any of the above comments appealing, you will bot be disappointed.

    I gave it 8 out of 10.

  • Don't forget the social criticism behind this movie by 10

    What this movie criticizes is the integral part of corruption: connection. Those who are able to be promoted is not due to their merits or ability, but simply depends on who he or she knows in the higher tier of bureaucracy. The film did a great job in criticizing this problem that is faced by everyone in China. Hail! A perfect 10!

1Jianxin Huangdirector
2Yazhou Yangdirector
3Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheungproducer
4Xudong Liproducer
5Xinglong Liuwriter
6Yi'an Sunwriter