Documentary Review: Yuguo and His Mother (2010) by Gu Tao

Within the second installment of his trilogy devoted to the Evenki individuals, “Yuguo and His Mom”, Gu Tao focuses on the connection between the protagonist of his earlier documentary “Aoluguya, Aoluguya”, Liuxua, and her son, the eponymous Yuguo.

Yuguo and His Mother is streaming on CathayPlay

On the age of eight, Yuguo is taken from his alcoholic and violent mom and dropped at a boarding faculty for orphans at Wuxi. Three years cross earlier than they meet subsequent for a short time frame. Then two extra, till he visits his mom once more and stays along with her at her mountain yurt.

The documentary opens with Yuguo touring to satisfy his mom. The boy is in a taxi, pleased, unable to regulate his happiness, even. He tells the motive force about his village. We then see Liuxua, drunk once more, crying and complaining how brutal the world is. As if chatting with her son, or perhaps to herself, she tells him that he must be robust and never let society destroy him. Scenes of mom and son are juxtaposed with ones of the mom hugging and taking part in along with her deer, as if they’re substitute for her son.

Assembly his mom for the primary time after three years of separation, the boy is equally pleased and uncomfortable. She could be very drunk once more, barely standing straight. Recognizing him after a second or two, she hugs him tight and instantly pulls him to the bottom, as if she’s a weight dragging him down. The boy appears each pleased and frightened about his always drunk mom, seemingly pleased with his Evenki heritage, but ashamed of his quick household.

And identical to that, Gu Tao cuts to 2 years later, when Yuguo, now 13, visits his mom once more. A teen now, he’s taller (nearly half a head above his mom), stronger, extra mature. His mom, although, appears to have grown smaller. Repeating the identical few non-funny catchphrases she appears to do when she’s drunk and excited, she tries to sing Yuguo a lullaby.

Whereas the earlier encounter between mom and son was within the Evenki settlement, the second is in her mountain dwelling. Yuguo appears to really feel at dwelling there, saying he prefers the mountain higher than Wuxi. And but, he appears always stressed there. Transferring right here and there, not realizing what to do together with his physique, fidgeting, climbing the skinny beams that give the tent form. In a phrase, the boy appears bored.

Gu Tao has shot the trilogy within the span of a few years and this exhibits not solely by his familiarity together with his topic, however by the truth that he’s there for each visits of Yuguo. This, apparently, is the one time the director mentions any kind of chronology on this in any other case non-chronologically shot trilogy. It’s as if previous, current, and future combine to indicate us that the Evenki inhabit in a liminal, even ahistorical, house.

Whereas the main target of Gu Tao’s earlier entry within the trilogy, the sensible “Aoluguya, Aoluguya” was Liuxia, right here, unsurprisingly, is her son. The connection between mom and son is a lot on the heart right here, that Yuguo’s uncle, the drunkenly poetic Weijia is sort of absent, save for a brief, considerably summary, sequence.

Not all motion takes place within the mountain, although. After a while there, the household goes again to the settlement, the place we witness Yuguo take heed to tacky bubblegum pop, consuming jelly, and hanging out with different boys. They drink beer, go to karaoke, and do every little thing that different boys their age do. The boy appears in his factor there.

As Yuguo leaves the settlement ultimately of this 50 minute-long documentary, his mom is drunk once more. He admonishes her to cease, however as a substitute, she begs him for cash. Two yuan solely, she asks. He offers her 5, as a substitute. Full of quite a few leap cuts, as if implying that the separation between the 2 took hours, the sequence is an encapsulation of all the “Yuguo and His Mom” – a touching and private, but uncomfortable affair.



  • Try your lucky to get discount coupon
  • 1 spin per email
  • No cheating
Try Your Lucky
Remind later
No thanks