Love For Life, also known as Love Is a Miracle: Till Death Do Us Part.
Directed by: Gu Changwei
The film begins with a young boy walking through a village in China with a magnifying glass, he stops to find an orange, he picks it up to go and sit on the edge of a hill with it, to then fall down. The boy is narrating, talking about himself in the past tense, he tells us about his village high up in the mountains, and of a fever called aids, which when the villagers caught they would drop like leaves. The picture then goes to show his father running through the Village shouting and crying for his son, and then it shows him in a coffin being mourned over. The boy tells us how people blamed his father for his death, and that his uncle had it coming, creating unanswered questions, intriguing the viewer. The story begins from here, as the coffin closes on the young boy.
In China, AIDS is thought to be a myth, and the subject is rarely talked about, this film was created to raise awareness to the Chinese, and to the rest of the world on this terrible disease. It was spread through the village by unclean blood transfusions run by Xiaoxin’s dad Qiquan creating an outbreak of AIDS causing many deaths.
To make up for Qiquan’s horrible mistake, his father opens a camp of refuge for those HIV positive. It is there that the main character Deyoi, (the boy’s uncle) meets Qinqin, and the soon start a physical relationship and fall in love, the only thing standing in their way is her husband, making their love story a sordid affair. The story of the film shifts from the AIDS crisis to the love story as the two are determined to marry before they both die.
The film ends with with Deyoi dying in Qinqin’s heart wrenching monologue telling him how cannot die as she cannot live without him and how she has loved him like a mother, he even refers to her as mummy as his fever grows out of control. She continuously bathes herself in an icy cold bath of water and drapes her naked body on him to cool him down. The film comes to an end showing Qinquin dead on the floor next to Deyoi as he cries out for help. This causes him to gruesomely chop off his own legs. The film closes on flashbacks of the happy times between the pair.
I did not enjoy this film in the slightest; it brought the viewer on an extremely depressing journey of pain, death, illness, love and loss. The film began with a tragedy, and ended with one. I feel the story would have been more interesting if it was more about the AIDS crisis than being just another sad love story we have seen hundreds of times before.