Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Xiochun, a 13-year-old boy with a gift for the violin, moves to Beijing from a small provincial town with his father in the hope of auditioning for a prestigious music academy. Refined by city life, and dazzled by the worldly young woman in the apartment upstairs, Xiaochun becomes increasingly embarrassed by his father's country ways. This estrangement is almost encouraged by his father who arranges for the boy to be tutored; first by a disillusioned musician more accustomed to teaching the talentless progeny of the pretentious; then by a manipulative star-maker, played by director Chen Kaige himself.
"Music, mostly of the Western classical variety and much of it floridly romantic, pours through Chen Kaige's film Together and helps infuse its story with a feverish emotionalism. The newest movie by the Chinese filmmaker best known for Farewell My Concubine is not afraid to push buttons with its heady potpourri of Bruch, Richard Strauss, Liszt and Massenet, all pointing toward a climactic performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D." — Stephen Holden, NY Times