7.9/10
221
2 user 3 critic

Back to Back, Face to Face (1994)

Bei kao bei, lian dui lian (original title)
Wang Shuangli is Deputy Director of the local Cultural Centre, and hopes to be appointed Director. However Old Ma is brought in from the country and installed as Director. This starts a ... See full summary »

Directors:

Jianxin Huang (as Jian Xin Huang), Yazhou Yang (as Ya Zhou Yang)

Writers:

Xinglong Liu (novel), Jianxin Huang (screenplay) (as Xin Huang) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zhenhua Niu Zhenhua Niu ... Deputy Director Wang Shuangli (as Zhen Hua Niu)
Kesheng Lei Kesheng Lei ... Ma (as Ke Sheng Lei)
Qiang Li Qiang Li ... Yen
Hao Ju Hao Ju ... Accountant Li
Guoxiang Liu Guoxiang Liu ... Old Wang (Wang's father) (as Guo Xiang Liu)
Xuezheng Xu Xuezheng Xu ... Luo (as Xue Zheng Xu)
Haihai Lin Haihai Lin ... Fanglan (Wang's wife) (as Hai Hai Lin)
Jinsong Wang ... Monkey (as Jin Song Wang)
Qian Wun Qian Wun ... Song (as Qian Wen)
Nannan She Nannan She ... Lung Bingbing (as Nan Nan She)
Zhijun Ge Zhijun Ge ... Bureau director Lung (as Zhi Jun Ge)
Zaijun Ma Zaijun Ma ... Asst. bureau director Xu (as Zai Jun Ma)
Weiling Wu Weiling Wu ... Siao Lerler (as Wei Ling Wu)
Jia-yi Zhang ... Director Shi (as Xiao Tong Zhang)
Yi Zhang Yi Zhang ... Hong Hong
Edit

Storyline

Wang Shuangli is Deputy Director of the local Cultural Centre, and hopes to be appointed Director. However Old Ma is brought in from the country and installed as Director. This starts a long train of events with Wang's cronies using the bureaucracy to try to oust the new director. At home, Wang has problems because his father wants Wang to have a son to carry on the family name. However, because of the one-child policy, Wang cannot have any more children unless his young daughter is certified infirm. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | satire | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Release Date:

October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Back to Back, Face to Face See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Well made, in-touch movie about life
11 June 1999 | by Bobak!See all my reviews

First of all, I'm surprised this movie hasn't seen an American release. The style, acting, and direction are all pleasantly up to par with good Hollywood fare.

The film takes us thought the life of a low level bureaucrat who's trying to become the director of the cultural ministry of a medium size Chinese city. Unfortunately, because his allies are all lower in the bureaucratic ladder, he only finds himself as the acting director - running the scenes while the upper level officials keep sending inferior, but better connected, individuals.

From this basic plot flowers a fascinating view of contemporary Chinese society. Sub-plots cover the clash between the old world and the new, accepting one's lot in life, and what it truly takes to be happy - sprinkled with a great mixture of comedy, tragedy, and surprise. At a running time of about 2hrs and 20 minutes, it has enough time to cover roughly 2 years of time without feeling overlong.

The best feature of this film is its accessibility. As a Westerner with no advanced knowledge of Chinese society, I found the characters understandable, approachable, and very sympathetic. The entire cast is exceptional. I recommend tracking down a copy of this movie. If you found any of the above comments appealing, you will bot be disappointed.

I gave it 8 out of 10.


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