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RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES aka QIAN LI ZOU DAN QI
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
Cast: Ken Takakura, Terajima Shinobu, Nakai Kiichi, Wen Jiang
Director: Zang Yimou
Countries: Hong Kong / China / Japan
Languages: Mandarin / Japanese (English subtitles)
USA: 107 mins
USA Rated: PG for mild thematic elements
USA Release Date: 1 September 2006 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
From three-time Academy Award nominated director Zhang Yimou comes a moving story of one man's journey across China's heartland. RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES stars the legendary actor Ken Takakura, and Japanese stars Shinobu Terajima and Kiichi Nakai.
When Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura) receives a phone call from his daughter-in-law, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), telling him that his son, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), is seriously ill, he travels to Tokyo and leaves behind the quiet fisherman's village where he has lived for many years on the northwest coast of Japan.
Arriving in the city, Takata finds that Rie was not entirely truthful: Ken-ichi has been hospitalized, but after years of painful estrangement, he still refuses to see his aging father. Saddened Takata leaves the hospital, but Rie manages to give him a videotape of his son to watch hoping this will help Takata get to know his son again.
Takata plays the tape and learns that Ken-ichi is studying a form of Chinese folk drama that dates back more than a thousand years. Ken-ichi had traveled all the way to Yunnan Province in Southern China to see the famous actor LI Jiamin perform, but the actor was ill and unable to sing. Li promised to sing the legendary song 'Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles' from the literary classic, 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' for Ken-ichi if he returns to Yunnan the following year.
Hoping to bridge the gap between himself and his son, Takata decides to find Li Jiamin and videotape his performance for the dying Ken-ichi. As the old man begins an odyssey into the heart of China, he encounters a number of strangers who help him on his journey. What Takata discovers on this journey is kindness... and a sense of family he thought he had lost long ago.