Qin Qin (Zhang Ziyi) and De Yi (Aaron Kwok) live in an isolated community not far from their village. Both live with other villagers who have been infected by the fever – an incurable disease. Since there are a lot of uncertainties about the fever and its transmission, the ones infected were isolated in the village and had almost no choice but to move out. In their new community, those suffering of the fever count the days before their death. Qin Qin and De Yi were both rejected by their respective partners once they discovered they were infected. They learn how to lean on each other and slowly their understanding becomes love. Since both are still married, they first commit adultery before being able to marry. Remarriage being frowned upon, especially given their medical condition, the couple faces discrimination. Yet, they are both able to find joy in each other’s company and learn how to enjoy the little time they have left.
1) I thought this drama was so powerful because it dealt with a taboo topic – AIDS. The reason why a lot of people got contaminated was because of a blood selling scandal in China in the early 1990s. The Chinese government is susceptible when it comes to this scandal and a lot of victims still haven’t been compensated. In my opinion, this movie shows a general acknowledgment of the problem. And it is a chance for those who didn’t know much about it to learn.
2) I love the way the movie showed the impact on a personal level. Qin Qin and De Yi were isolated because of the ignorance of many. Due to the lack of information on AIDS, the other villagers felt like it was safer for them to not interact with the people infected. Qin Qin and De Yi were lucky to find love. They also had the courage to embrace their lives as it is, but how many can do the same thing? It simply reflects how society is quick to judge and isolate.
3) If you are interested in learning more about Chinese social issues, the book China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power would be a good start. The author of the book, Rob Gifford, is a former NPR correspondent and the current China Editor for The Economist. He is fluent in Chinese and spent a lot of time there. This book traces his journey in several areas of China. He gives details about the one child policy, the blood selling scandal, prostitution, etc.
~ maniac Ride