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The Soong Sisters (1997)

1 rating: 3.0
Action & Adventure and Military & War movie directed by Mabel Cheung

To see that china remains a dominant world force after the founding of the republic by dr. Sun yat-sen the patriotic charlie soong send his three daughters to america for their education. The sisters return to china marks the beginning of their tumultuous … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Mabel Cheung
1 review about The Soong Sisters (1997)

A Dose of History Sumptuously Served - with reservations

  • Jun 29, 2004
Rating:
+3
THE SOONG SISTERS is a visually stunning recounting of the turns of events that changed China from a land of Dynasties to a nation of multiple personalities: the Nationalist Party, the Revolutionists, and the Communist Party. As such it fills in many bits of political and social history that by and large have gone unnoticed by the West. Charlie Soong (having been educated in America) has three special daughters whom he loves so much that he sends them to America for schooling at Wellesley to prepare for what he envisions as a New China. The daughters return to China as young women, marry men who are destined to become important political leaders, and the changes the resulting schism of a Chinese family parallels the cultural transformation of one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. Director Mabel Cheung has a keen eye for vistas of Oriental splendor, capturing the young girls at play in gardens, marrying in elegantly beautiful ceremonies, joining the 'imported' western culture with the elegance of the Chinese culture in the arts, a fine sense of the seasons (though when it rains in China apparently one cannot hear a normal conversation!), and even the requisite battle scenes that of course must accompany this period of transition (internal battles as well as fighting the invading Japanese army). For the most part she draws vivid performances from Jiang Wan (a true mixture of East and West) as Charlie Soong, Michelle Yeoh, Vivian Wu and Maggie Cheung as the three Soong sisters, and Winston Chao as Sun Yat-Sen and Kuo Chiu Wa as Chiang Kai-Shek, two of their husbands. The drawbacks in this very long movie are the editing (scenes literally bounce off each other in a most distracting non-fusion), sound track (treacly Western sentimentalist gush coupled with the elegance of old Chinese music on ancient instruments), and the lack of passion in the relationships of the people. Perhaps this is her style: perhaps it is a way of avoiding commitment to any one of the political parties addressed. Given these reservations, if you are in the mood for eye candy and the wonder of history, try this film in the comfort of your home.

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