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Aftershock


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Product Details

  • Actors: Daoming Chen, Chen Li, Yi Lu
  • Directors: Xiaogang Feng
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, English
  • Subtitles: English, Chinese
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 18 2011
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B005B0QYSQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,095 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Tangshan, 1976. Two seven-year-old twins are buried under the rubble of the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century. The rescue team explains to their mother that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. Forced to make the most difficult decision of her life, she finally chooses to save her son. Though left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives, unbeknownst to her brother and mother. AFTERSHOCK follows the family on their separate journeys over the course of the next 32 years, as they build lives forever shadowed by the traumatic experience of the earthquake, and eventually face each other—and the decisions of the past.

The acclaimed epic that broke all box-office record in China, AFTERSHOCK features an all-star cast including Zhang Jingchu (Rush Hour 3) and Chen Daoming (Hero)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Inkhorn HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 28 2012
Format: DVD
To understand the scale of what happened in Tangshan in 1976, if you consider that the two atomic bombs detonated detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki between them killed 220,000 people.

The Tangshan earthquake lasted slightly less than a minute, killed 250,000 people. Before the earthquake fish jumped out of aquariums. 89% of the buildings in Tangshan were reduced to rubble, and a million people were left homeless. Aftershock tracks the story of one family, and its effect on them.

A young mother is faced with a crushing dilemma. Both her six year old twin children are trapped under a huge concrete beam. One cannot be rescued without the other being crushed to death. We don't know if another aftershock will kill both of them at any moment. She decides to save her son. She lays the daughter next to the body of her husband believing her dead. However, the daughter regains consciousness, and is adopted by a soldier and his wife. The mother, believing her daughter dead has to live with the consequences of her decision. The daughter faded in and out of consciousness during the rescue, we don't know how much she heard of rescue attempt. However, her subsequent behavior offers clues.

So we follow their lives from then to the present day. We understand their suffering because it makes sense, there are mysteries within the movie, such as will daughter and mother ever be reunited, or will the twin siblings ever be reunited. We hope that for the sake of the story it will happen, but the fact that the daughter marries and moves to Canada seems to indicate otherwise.

Aftershock, is cinematic storytelling at its best. We don't have understand Chinese to fell gripped by the emotions that are unfolding onscreen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 58 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
An emotional masterpiece Nov. 17 2010
By Inkhorn - Published on Amazon.com
To understand the scale of what happened in Tangshan in 1976, if you consider that the two atomic bombs detonated detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki between them killed 220,000 people.

The Tangshan earthquake lasted slightly less than a minute, killed 250,000 people. Before the earthquake fish jumped out of aquariums. 89% of the buildings in Tangshan were reduced to rubble, and a million people were left homeless. Aftershock tracks the story of one family, and its effect on them.

A young mother is faced with a crushing dilemma. Both her six year old twin children are trapped under a huge concrete beam. One cannot be rescued without the other being crushed to death. We don't know if another aftershock will kill both of them at any moment. She decides to save her son. She lays the daughter next to the body of her husband believing her dead. However, the daughter regains consciousness, and is adopted by a soldier and his wife. The mother, believing her daughter dead has to live with the consequences of her decision. The daughter faded in and out of consciousness during the rescue, we don't know how much she heard of rescue attempt. However, her subsequent behavior offers clues.

So we follow their lives from then to the present day. We understand their suffering because it makes sense, there are mysteries within the movie, such as will daughter and mother ever be reunited, or will the twin siblings ever be reunited. We hope that for the sake of the story it will happen, but the fact that the daughter marries and moves to Canada seems to indicate otherwise.

Aftershock, is cinematic storytelling at its best. We don't have understand Chinese to fell gripped by the emotions that are unfolding onscreen. Our own humanity abd abillty to feel bridges any language barrier. I feel that Afershock is truly an emotional masterpiece, and the director Xiaogang Feng is the James Cameron of China, and this movie is China's Titanic.

I believe this movie is a very important milestone in Chinese filmmaking history, as much if not more than the better known movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I am very impressed with the quality of foreign movies this year particularly the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, which challenge Hollywood to improve its own standards of storytelling. Foreign moviemakers are now regularly making movies as good as anything being made in Hoillywood, and that's a very good thing.

Aftershock is one of the best foreign movies I have ever seen. I hope you will experience it too. I think you will love it.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Quietly Powerful Family Drama Highlighting National Tragedy And Personal Heroism Oct. 4 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
With its epilogue, the Chinese epic "Aftershock" makes it known that it wants to stand as a tribute to the estimated 240,000-250,000 lives lost in the devastating earthquake in Tangshan circa 1976. This horrendous quake decimated the city, destroyed lives, and ripped families apart. And any film that wants to honor the heroism and perseverance of the citizens that emerged from tragedy to rebuild not only their city but their lives is worthy of respect for its good intentions. But as I've said often in judging films--good intentions only take you so far! "Aftershock" is much more than its message--it is also an unforgettable and compelling family drama that spans over 30 years. It is an extremely satisfying historical epic that also tells a quietly powerful story about the long range affects that one night had on a family (and by extension, a nation). So, by all means, come to "Aftershock" for its good intentions but don't lose sight that it is also tremendous filmmaking!

If I had my druthers, I would have wanted to go into the film without knowing the major components of its plot. However, some of the details seem to be inescapable if you look at any of the marketing material, advertising, or product descriptions. The film does begin with a spectacular sequence recreating the Tangshan quake. It's a realistic and harrowing depiction that would stand on par to any contemporary special effects you'd see in Hollywood blockbusters. But this is no empty headed disaster film (which I love), but something much more heartfelt and affecting. On this fateful evening, a family of four is divided and it's not until 32 years later where they will all understand the truth of the night. The father is killed, the mother and her son live haunted by their memories, and the daughter is raised by a foster family. We see all the characters at intervals in their lives and, though the earthquake may be history, it and its aftershocks are carried within the psyche of everyone that lived through it. The film culminates with a 2008 Sichaun earthquake that forces our characters to confront one another again. It's incredibly potent and moving drama. Truly!

I, more than anything else you're likely to read, have been purposefully vague about the details of the movie. The film would be better served if its plot unraveled naturally without expectation. Wildly popular in China, "Aftershock" has become that country's highest grossing domestic film ever and was submitted for Academy consideration as China's contender for a Best Foreign Film Oscar (although sadly, it was not nominated). The cast is superb and the screenplay is surprisingly understated. The film is wildly dramatic but it wisely stays away from melodrama. In other hands, this story might have been engineered as weepy and overwrought. Here, I believed the final revelations and reunions because they played on a more realistic keel. They're still likely to make you cry like a baby, but none of the emotion is forced or false. Great actors, with a great screenplay, in a great film. In case I haven't been clear, I think "Aftershock" is quite a special film! Check it out. KGHarris, 10/11.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
BUY IT July 15 2011
By b - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The only movie that's ever made me cry. And that's because I watched it with English subtitles; I can't imagine how much more powerful it is if you understand Mandarin.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
an extremely moving story May 17 2012
By Mea - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A sublime film. I feel very fortunate to be someone who does't mind subtitles; it's worth a little extra effort to watch a film like this.
This is not a fast-moving film, it's a contemplative one. The tragedy of the earthquake is unbearably sad, but the film is redemptive. The screenplay, acting, cinematography and musical score are all top-notch. It would be very difficult to find anything to critique.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An epic saga on a grand scale Feb. 1 2012
By ••·.·•• RIZZO ••·.·•• - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It's clear, Aftershock is a mixture of sentimentality and epic disaster. Based on the 1976 horrible Tangshan earthquake, where 240,000 lives were lost, the story focuses on the life of life of a mom, father, and two small children, who become separated during the devastation. Dad was killed, and the boy and girl are pinned beneath concrete slabs. One can be saved, and with pressure by the rescuers, mom is forced to select the boy, who loses an arm. However, the girl believed to be dead, is not, and soon taken in by another family.

The time period shifts to 1995 where the daughter plans to study medicine, but through another course in her life, must leave those studies. Meanwhile the son and his mother live together, and mother suffers greatly with the idea of the choice she made. The son lives with being a handicap and as he grows to be a man, his concern for his mother's well-being is evident over her long-term grief.

This is clearly a grand movie, very well done, from the musical score, the earthquake visuals, the images of thousands of people, to the acting of the main characters. The landscape is vivid and spectacular.

But most of all, the story is well-done, with a strong theme of grief by the mother, and the abandonment by the daughter. The connection of grief the mother carries for years is juxtapose to the longtime feeling of unwantedness by the daughter. There is nothing rushed about the movie, giving the viewer time to absorb the characters, to feel the moods, to acknowledge the relationships, to understand the emotional turmoil that lives in people.

Excellent film, on a grand scale! ..... Rizzo

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