Mountains may depart

Mountains may depart

Shan he gu ren

DVD - 2015 | Chinese
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At once an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic that leaps from the recent past to the present to the speculative near-future, Jia's new film is an intensely moving study of how China's economic boom and the culture of materialism it has spawned has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love.
Publisher: Shanghai, China : Shanghai Film Group/Xstream Pictures (Beijing), ©2015.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (126 min.) :,sound, colour ;,12 cm
4 3/4 in., stamping, rda
digital, video, surround, rda
NTSC, rda
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda
Alternative Title: Shan he gu ren [dvd]


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Apr 01, 2019

I gave the movie Moutain May Depart as two star rating, mainly for the nice senery & the good photography. The female lead character was materialistic & married the rich guy. That's okay that she wasn't nice. That's an interesting twist. However, I wasn't entertaining for me & the plot went off the rails in my opinion. The nice photography & good technical production quality did keep me watching until the end. The sound production was also good & the library copy was in decent enough shape.

Aug 15, 2018

Actually a trilogy, this drama looks at life, love, and family in a materialistic society. Humorous at the beginning, it becomes deeper (some might say depressing) as it continues.

(Spoilers ahead) The love-triangle at the beginning has tragic results when she chooses the money – and the disappearance of this sub-plot partway through Part Two is a horrible condemnation of that choice. Part Three has interesting speculations about what the near-future (still overly materialistic) will be like, though the effects of the tragedy are not far behind. Although set in a different part of the world, this film’s message is for our society as well.

Feb 20, 2018

I am a fan of Jia's work but find this film under-accomplished. Director Jia attempted to tell a story over three time points, each years apart, but the effort did not result in a convincing and well-executed plot. The depiction of a world in 2025, for example, is feeble and, in my view, unnecessary. The film started off with a love triangle and a very slow pace. Some people will get bored right there. All in all, it is a film about life, the relentless passage of time and the changes it brings. It is still a watchable and engaging film but it could have been done better if Jia had moved away from some of his very personal sentiments and obsessions. There are a couple of old but pleasant songs there too. A bonus for me.

Jul 22, 2017

It's supposed to be about karma, but the movie itself is quite boring.

d2013 May 15, 2017

Great film by Jia Zhangke, very moving!

Apr 21, 2017

The lives of three plus ordinary people. Nothing spectacular in the story or in the performance.

Nov 28, 2016

AKA "Mountains May Depart (山河故人)" - Film began in 1999 Fenyang (汾阳市) China as an exuberant young woman must chose to marry one of her childhood friends, one industrious or an unambitious admirer. Fast forward to 2015 and finally to 2025, besides big changes in China at large, so did the lives of the three antagonist. Unusual epic that projected the more extreme dislocations to the families and particularly children of those with single minded pursuit on wealth and foreign ideologies, not unlike some lost children of immigrants to Canada or USA as depicted in the recent film "北京遇上西雅圖之不二情書 = Book of love 2016." Personally, I enjoyed Jai's "A Touch of Sin (天註定2013)" more, that has similar social elements but more ubiquitous in China.

Peruse the companion booklet on insights to the film in "Summary."

Oct 24, 2016

This is a fantastic movie It really doesn't matter the place, the about human nature. I liked it a lot!


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Nov 28, 2016

This song sung in Cantonese by 葉蒨文 Sally Yeh was played in the film several times for good reasons:

珍重 ( 贾樟柯電影「山河故人」插曲)

沾濕雙眼漸紅 難藏熱暖及痛悲
多年情 不知怎說起

他方天氣漸涼 前途或有白雪飛
假如能 不想別離你




Nov 28, 2016

Look, there's the Twelve Apostles. When I first came, there were eight. Now... there's only three.
(From wiki: The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left, the ninth stack having collapsed dramatically in July 2005."
Time doesn't changed every thing. That's what it has taught me.
Our hometown is Fenyang, by Dragon's Gate.
Famed for our mountains and rivers.
A purple haze rises from Wenfeng pagoda
We step proudly into the new century!
I don't believe in reincarnation. Live's just repeat itself. That's why you find it familiar.
You know the hardest thing, about love is caring. I guess we have to feel the pain to know that we're in love.


Add a Summary
Nov 28, 2016


With Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhang-ke turns his powers of social observation inward, shifting subjects from the physical migrations in contemporary China to the inner emotional complexities arising from the decades following the nation’s great Cultural Reform. With rare intimacy, the filmmaker’s first foray into melodrama reveals the yearnings, melancholy, and indignations of China’s new secret heart.

Comprised of three vignettes set in 1999, 2015, and 2025, Mountains May Depart tracks the lives of childhood friends from Jia’s native Shaanxi—singer-dancer Shen Tao (in one of Zhao Tao’s most tremendous performances), brash young capitalist Zhang (Zhang Yi), and poor mineworker Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong). Each grapples with unfamiliar feelings of loneliness and isolation brought on by the pressure to survive in the nation’s ever forward-thrusting milieu of industrial, technological, and economic progress. In her pursuit of a better life, Tao has to choose between her two loves. But her decision to marry Zhang ruptures the trio’s friendship, and eventually leads to a divorce that forces her to part with her only son Dollar (Dong Zijian) when he moves, first to Shanghai and then to Melbourne with his father.

Full text of companion booklet:

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