Hi, some American [and Peruvian] distributor, you should totally buy this.
Newsweek has a very interesting article on Xiaogang Feng and his latest IMAX flick, Aftershocks (aka. After Shock, Aftershock), which has just beaten James Cameron’s Avatar in the biggest Chinese opening for a film. Aftershocks is the first ever non-American IMAX film… so of course Aftershocks opened in more than 4 000 screens – which is also a first – and it only made about $5.3M on a day, but it is still a feature. I mean, not everyone pays $15USD to get into the theater.
So when I think of IMAX… I think National Geographic under the sea films, Star Wars, and The Dark Knight. But let me tell you, Aftershocks is playing a complete different game. Aftershocks is a drama… it’s a tear-jerking, heart-tugging drama. It depicts the story of a family that was forever affected by the 1976 7.8 magnitude in the city of Tangshan, which had a reported death toll of 240 000 people.
When I first heard about Aftershocks, not being familiar with Feng’s style, I thought “Oh, China is making their big Hollywood Disaster Film on IMAX” and boy, was I wrong. Sure, the film counts with a luscious (and devastating) sequence that last several long minutes of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake… which felt like a mega-earthquake on screen. However, after that scene, which pretty much starts the film, it aptly turns into a drama telling the struggle of a mother that had to choose between her daughter and her son, and the hurt of a daughter that believes to have been abandoned.
The film lasts about 2hrs, and I was possibly in tears in the first few minutes as the earthquake struck, and the audience immediately feels connected to the mom and her kids. It instantly reminds me of writers telling me “You need something big so your reader believes the connection can happen,” and for the viewers watching Aftershocks, this big event is the devastating earthquake.
When you thought the worse of the crying was done, a brand new wave came over you and you were at it again. I think I was bawling for a good 1.30hr of the film. LOL
A good solid 4/5
Oh how I wish this opened in America so there could be ANY nomination for actress Fan Xu, though the whole cast was remarkable.