The Road Home

Synopsis: City businessman Luo Yusheng returns to his home village in North China for the funeral of his father, the village teacher. He finds his elderly mother insisting that all the traditional burial customs be observed, despite the fact that times have changed so much, and that it involves many people carrying his father's body back to the village - the road home. As Yusheng debates the complications involved in organising such a big feat, he remembers the magical story of how his father and mother first met and got together.
Director(s): Yimou Zhang
Production: Sony Picture Classics
  16 wins & 6 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.9
Metacritic:
71
Rotten Tomatoes:
89%
G
Year:
1999
89 min
$370,465
Website
8 Views

My father died suddenly.

I only found out last night.

The mayor informed me by phone.

I couldn't believe it.

My hometown is Sanhetun,

a village in the mountains.

I left home to work in the city.

I was so busy

that I haven't been back in years.

My father was the village schoolteacher.

He taught there all his life.

I am the only child...

...the only one from our village

who went to college.

I am very worried about my mother.

I am afraid she can not

cope with this sudden change.

Come in and take a break.

I've got to get back.

Thank your boss again for me.

Thank you.

Mother?

- Mother?

- Yusheng.

Mayor, Uncle Xia.

I saw the car and I knew you were back.

Come in. It's warmer inside.

Sit down.

I couldn't tell you much over the phone.

Now that you're here

I can explain everything.

For many years, your father had wanted...

...to rebuild the schoolhouse...

...but there were always reasons

we couldn't.

He brought it up again recently,

and the village agreed.

We had the materials we needed,

but not enough money.

Your father's mind was made up.

He began travelling around,

trying to borrow money.

He went all over the county.

If he thought there was a chance,

he'd go after it.

On the last trip, on his way home...

...he ran into a heavy snowstorm.

He was stuck in the storm and he got sick.

He was too sick to be moved.

He was in bad shape when he got back,

so we took him to the hospital.

They examined him

and found that he had a heart problem.

We've known your dad all these years...

...but never knew he had a heart condition.

They tried saving him, but it was no use.

Your father then passed away.

- Where is my father now?

- In the provincial hospital morgue.

We have been waiting for you to return

to discuss this with you.

Last time I spoke with him,

he seemed fine.

He had gotten older, plus the bad storm.

At his age, it was too much for him.

It would have been hard on anyone.

The heavy snowstorm

was too much to handle.

The village intends to arrange a car

to bring your father back...

...back here to bury him in the village.

That's what we planned.

That's fine. Go ahead.

But there is a problem.

Your mother doesn't want to use a car.

She wants your father to be carried back.

What do you mean?

It's an old tradition.

We'll carry him on the road home...

...so your father won't forget his way.

It's a superstition.

And she wants to walk with us.

- So, let's do it.

- We want to do it.

He was our village teacher.

Everyone respects him.

But our young people

have all left for the city.

They've gone away to work.

Only old people and children are left.

Due to this circumstance,

we are planning...

...to bring your father back by tractor.

It'll take only half a day.

We would like you

to persuade your mother.

Thank you for your concern.

- I will talk it over with her.

- Good.

Where is she?

Probably at the schoolhouse.

She's been there every day since he died.

She just sits there

and doesn't listen to anyone.

She goes there whenever she has time.

- Is she okay?

- I think so.

I am only afraid...

- Is it the old schoolhouse?

- Yes.

I'll go to see her.

- Mother.

- Yusheng.

It's so cold. Let's go home, okay?

Your father passed away.

Let's go home, Mother.

We can never see him again.

Get on the bed. It's warm there.

- Yusheng.

- Yes.

Bring me my loom.

Why do you need the loom?

I want to weave something.

Weave what?

A cloth to cover your father's coffin.

Mother, don't weave it.

I'll go buy one instead.

I don't want you to buy one.

That loom is so old.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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