Flash Movie Review: Postmen in the Mountains
The young boy was straining under the weight of the dumbbells. I was exercising on the weight bench behind, yet I could hear the father correcting his son’s posture. With a wide leather weight belt cinched around his waist, the man had the body definition of a serious weightlifter. Hearing and seeing his encouraging words to his son reminded me of the time I learned how to throw a football when I was a small boy. As I continued with my workout I had memories of past mentors and individuals who had a big influence on me. There was the building superintendent of the apartment building where I was born. I recalled how he would magically appear at the front of our place when I would be running towards it on my way home from school. It never occurred to me that he was aware I was being chased; he would just be there with a large grin on his jolly face, his bloodshot eyes barely blinking. In my adult life I was fortunate enough to have a yoga instructor who really showed me the wonders of yoga. This man was amazing to watch as he would bend his body in various positions to show us the difference between poor and ideal forms. He looked like one of those dolls where all the joints were unrestricted, the limbs able to fold from front to back. I have always been grateful that I was able to spend time with him in class and one-on-one sessions. HAVING spent his whole life as the postman for a rural mountainous region of Hunan province, China; being away from home for long stretches of time, it was time for him to retire and turn the responsibility over to the son, played by Ye Liu (Curse of the Golden Flower, Dark Matters), he barely knew. The father, played by Rujun Ten (A Love of Blueness, Xian’s Finest), instructed his boy on all the details of the job as the two took to the route that would deliver them something more than just the mail. This film festival winning drama had such a tender gentleness about it that it quickly drew me into the story. From the lush landscapes to the sweetness exuding out of scenes, I thought the story did a wonderful job in creating a believable and authentic dynamic between the father and son. From a technical standpoint, due to the time this film was made, the subtitles were primitive. There were a few improper words used and sometimes the subtitles flashed by too quickly. I think one of the added beauties of this film will be its ability to stir up warm memories in many viewers. Chinese language was spoken with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars — DVD