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To better understand the movie To Live one must have a background of the respected director Zhang Yimou better known as Chinas Fifth Generation filmmaker He was born in 1951 in the city of Xian and Shaanixe Providence During this period China was undergoing a Cultural Revolution The new communist government suppressed the KMT Nationalists during the civil war in the 1940s and China was shifting toward communist government Zhangs father an advocate of KMT Nationalist was most influential in bringing his family to destruction By 1950s suspicion was taking a toll on Zhangs family His brothers fled to other countries Zhang who was left in China was forced to surrender his right to education and condemned to a long period of hard labor at a textile factory The demise of the reign of Mao Zedong in 1976 reopened many universities that were once closed Under the reign of the new successor Deng Xiapeng new educational opportunity arose for many Chinese students For Zhang Yimou it was his passion for film to further his education Zhangs interest in film was always evident he has been known for giving his blood to raise the money to buy a camera Furthermore in pursuit for his dream Zhang Yimou passed the entrance exam in Beijing Film Academy However he had to struggle with his opponents that tried to deny his admittance to the university because of his age They claimed that he was too old to attend the university With a reasoning that his delay of pursuing an academia in film was the fault of the untimely Cultural Revolution an appeal from the Minister of Culture was given and Zhang was given an opportunity to pursue his dream Soon after graduation in Beijing Film Academy the graduates composed of Chen Kaige Tian Zhuangzhuang Zhang Junzhao and Zhang Yimou were known as the Fifth Generation Zhang Yimou is well recognized from his various successful movies such as Ju
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