The Road Home

Zhang Yimou
Film // September 6, 2016

The Road Home is the manifestation of the adage: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Zhang Ziyi stars as Zhao Di, a pretty girl from the remote lands of China that immediately falls in love with a teacher that moves to the village. They share a few glances and a handful conversations before the teacher is forced to leave due to extraneous circumstances. And from there Zhang Yimou solidifies the longing, following Zhao Di as she waits in heartbreak for her love to come back.

The film is sparse in dialogue, Zhang Yimou speaks through his scenery, Zhao Di is featured in many scenes running through the landscape. Snowfall indicating the pass of time, flowers casting a palette of hope, and long, winding roads creating a path to be followed–or to be rejected. For this was a time when arranged marriage were the norm, Zhao Di had true love, one of purity and devotion. The Road Home charts this rocky reality of going off the beaten path–and it’s one of exquisite beauty and pain.