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SOCIETY & CULTURE

‘Youth’: Feng Xiaogang’s Paean to Nostalgia

A poster for Feng Xiaogang’s latest movie, “Youth,” shows dancers in a military art troupe rehearsing a Mao-era propaganda ballet. The film follows the fates of these young performers through the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution and the decades of change that followed, as China opened up to the world. Photo: Visual China
A poster for Feng Xiaogang’s latest movie, “Youth,” shows dancers in a military art troupe rehearsing a Mao-era propaganda ballet. The film follows the fates of these young performers through the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution and the decades of change that followed, as China opened up to the world. Photo: Visual China

How did a tear-jerker on the Cultural Revolution beat Pixar’s animated film “Coco” at the Chinese box office, which is usually dominated by big-budget, popcorn films?

Award-winning director Feng Xiaogang’s “Youth” – which follows the lives of a dancer running away from her father’s political sins and a soldier fighting in the Sino-Vietnamese war – has become a hit among moviegoers above age 40, a group that is usually missing from cinemas.

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