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26 Happiness Road (2010) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The stark contrast between city and village life are personified in a father-daughter relationship strewn with misread intentions and emotional distance. Xun-Qing, a longtime city-girl from the country side, revisits her village after some years to see her father, Zhou, a soft-spoken elderly man who owns and still operates his humble brick factory. However, now he does so with visibly aging hands. A worried Xun-Qing wholeheartedly suggests he move to the city to live a "better life" with her. Their already fractious relationship further deteriorates when her offer is met with Zhou's emphatic rejection, thus re-opening past wounds turning conversations into quarrels. Caught in the midst of the storm are the brick factory workers, one of whom is Xiao-Bing - a hard-working, steadfast young man unorphaned by Zhou as a child. Throughout the ordeal, Xun-Qing finds familiar and kindred solace in Xiao-Bing's blunt brotherly advice, just like their childhood years. Together they visit colourful past stomping grounds that reignite a heart-warming nostalgia they both haven't felt in years. Through this feeling, Xun-Qing discovers that everyone's definition of 'happiness' is different and that she herself, at the age of 26, is still searching for just that. The day comes when Xun-Qing returns to Beijing to her busy life, however, without her father, without reconciliation, and without closure. Now, she is left with only speculation as to whether Zhou was pushing her away, or truly happy at home - the village he always knew.


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