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Video Sleepers:
"Shower" (2000, China, subtitled)

by Grover Sales

March, 2001

Video Sleepers by Grover Sales
          Ranking with other current glories of China -- The King of Masks, and Eat Drink, Man, Woman, director Zhang Yang's study of the generational conflict between old and new China mixes droll humor with pathos in a delightful film radiating irresistible charm.
"Shower" video box
Contemptuous of his proletarian roots, affluent business executive Da Ming takes off from his high-paying job in modernized Shenzhen for a brief visit to his youthful home in Beijing where his elderly father aided by Da Ming's retarded brother run a traditional combination bathhouse, tonsorial and massage parlor and a venerable social center for cricket fights, chess, tea and sake, gossip and convivial bonhomie. Da Ming's values get turned around as he relates to Dad, and childlike younger brother Er Ming who bursts with the irrepressible exuberance of an affectionate puppy, and their intimate circle of long-time customers.
          Underlying the wit and genial good spirits is the threat of encroaching high-rise civilization to destroy engaging traditions and communal joys . .Capitvating from first to last, Shower is a gem not to be overlooked.


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