The film chronicles the lives of a group of idealistic adolescents in a military art troupe in the People's Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution. They experience love, lust, betrayal, and sufferings in the background of Mao-era songs and dances. The two key characters, Feng Liu and Xiaoping He, also participate in the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979 and become heroes for their act of courage. After the war, they are honorably discharged from the Army but struggle to make ends meet in the Reform-era China while they learn lessons from soul-crashing experiences of love, lust, betrayal, and heartbreak.
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Cast & Credits
This drama tells the heart-wrenching story of a group of young dancers who were part of the military during the 1970s. And the story follows their lives until the 2000-2015 (but ended too soon). The narrator is a member of the dance troupe who focuses on the main characters and tells their stories from a detached third person's point of view. This is a classical approach to storytelling but, at times, this approach felt somewhat outdated for a production from 2017...
Overall, this production is good quality. Wish the story took more time to expand and develop (into a mini-series perhaps?). Specifically, the last 20-minutes (or so) felt rushed, as did the ending scenes.