Evergreen Mountains (1970)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2003-05-03
Summary: Light and muddled
This is a gentle story about a village in a quiet country community in the mountains, and mainly about a young teacher (Chen Chen, of course). Frankly, this film is not at all my speed. It's much too light. Also, it didn't help that the print I saw lacked subtitles and was, of course, in Mandarin, which I understand far less than Cantonese, and it's quite a talky little piece.

However, it was clear, even despite these problems, that the script was very muddled. The story viewpoint changed quite abruptly several times, and shifted genres the same way. For instance, characters would burst into song (something like old Hollywood musicals), then revert back to "serious" drama. By the way, there are four songs.

The one positive note is the fine cast, who take their parts seriously and act well. Especially interesting to see people playing against what would later become their type, such as veteran baddie Liu Ping playing, of all things, a gentle academic !

This film left me confused and unsatisfied, so I clearly cannot recommend it. Only for Chen Chen fans, and anyone curious to see what she was like near the start of her very busy career (i.e. she looks even younger than later !).
Reviewer Score: 3