Director: Huo Jianqi
Cast: Teng Rujiun, Liu Ye
Mandwa Film Club of LokVirsa brings Chinese feature ‘Postmen in the Mountains’ for special screening today (Saturday) at 5 pm.
‘Postmen in the Mountains’ from 1999 is a beautiful film which does not carry the baggage of heavy production values, computer generated visual effects and heavy budget. It was largely lensed on location in southwest China and Hunan. Teng Rujiun won Best Actor awards in several film festivals. The film was also awarded for cinematography.
Based on a short story, the film is not just about remote mountains. A critic pointed out that beauty of this film transcends lush green locations. We feel the peace and tranquillity that comes from within. Things remain simple and straightforward with grace and dignity. The locations are part of the character here and they have amazing beauty. Even the indoors of the postman's modest house and the places the father and son visit on their route have a special charm. The small house of the visually challenged old lady in the village with a courtyard with poverty all around has its own cinematic appeal. The father reads letters to the old lady from her son which were not written to begin with and delivers money bill from her son (which comes from his own pocket). This is simply heart-warming. The son of the postman standing next to all this, would perhaps follow the practice tomorrow. This has been the job for the father for decades and an explanation to his son about the life he lead for decades away from home comes with both satisfaction and regrets.
‘Postmen in the Mountains’ is a long trip of over 100 kilometres of a retiring postman with strong human appeal. It unfolds truth and reality of life. The son would now go alone on the journey. This brings cross-generational relationship to surface. All Letters would go through as the father hands over everything to the son. The father and son along with their dog have walked through clutches of remote villages, learning and discovering more about life, about past and about themselves.