Poster for Together

Winter 2004 Main series

Sunday, February 22, 2004 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 22, 2004 at 7:00pm
Monday, February 23, 2004 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated PG · 1h 56m

Chen Kaige, whose films tend to swing between monumental epics (The Emperor and the Assassin) and period dramas (Farewell My Concubine), brings his trademark storytelling brilliance and elegant vision to his latest gem, Together, which appeared in the Masters Programme at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. Based loosely on a true story, the crowd-pleasing Together weaves a beautiful coming-of-age tale that touches the heart with the same harmony and intensity as a complex musical orchestration. In a small southern Chinese town, a young boy named Xiao Chun (Tan Yun), having learned to play the violin from his now deceased mother, has become the village virtuoso. His irrepressibly optimistic father Liu Chen (Liu Peiqi), an ordinary cook, takes Xiao to the big city Beijing to compete in a violin contest. However, Xiao encounters his first taste of competition politics and fails to win the prize, inspiring Liu Chen to start looking for a top-flight Beijing violin teacher for his son. Taking up quarters in the city, they discover an eccentric lovelorn violin mentor for Xiao and, while the boy shyly undergoes his musical education, Xiao becomes infatuated with Li Li (Chen Hong), the nightclub girl who lives next door. So the sensitive Xiao begins his intoxicating and emotional rite of passage, rich with heartbreak, failure and triumph. As he nears his goal of becoming a professional violinist, learning the tricks of power as he goes, he grows more and more detached from his peasant father until, in the nick of time, he finally comes to understand the true meaning of music. Together is the ultimate heartwarming experience, blessed with music that sends shivers up the spine and cinematographically bathed in a fairy tale glowing light that is frame-for-frame one of the most stunningly beautiful films of the year.

Together is nothing short of a melodious masterpiece.” – Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer

“The direction, performances, music and cinematography give Together a unity and wholeness that’s increasingly rare in filmmaking of any origin.” – Philip Wuntch, The Dallas Morning News

“The kind of earnest melodrama Hollywood has forgotten how to do.” – Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

Together is powerful in an old-fashioned, big-studio kind of way.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times