Together – A story about the loves and conflicts between a young violinist and his father. A story about his friendship with his music teacher. A story about his first love and his doubts about materialism in society. He is silent but he is good at expressing his feelings and thoughts through his music and his music enlightens and warms those hearts trapped in the same deep hole. At the end of the film he has to make a choice, a choice between happiness and success.
In my film, I have picked part and parcel of various pieces of great music. My objective is to reveal the true feelings of the characters in the film. Apart from understanding these characters, audiences will be easily moved by the music. The selected music plays a vital part in pushing the film to another level. It brought me back to my youth, as if old friends were smiling at me in the dark of my memory.
At the age of fourteen, I was plunged into the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Forced into making the choice of betraying my father or being spurned in public, I had chosen the former. To my regret, I did not enjoy the happiness gained by the acceptance of revolution after hurting my father. When I was lost in saving my soul, I heard Bach's music.
All forms of western arts were forbidden in China at that period of time. This included western classical music. However, one of my schoolmates managed to save a couple of records in the midst of a major demolishment and Bach's works were part of the collection. Hiding ourselves in a dark room, we played the music secretly in the rain. Before long, we indulged in the music silently. In tears, we stared at each other. Apart from consoling our little souls, the music had relieved us from pain and given us hope. After a few months of secret gatherings, the records were finally discovered and destroyed. What was left behind eternally in my mind was the rhythm, which accompanied me throughout my growing up.
At the end of the Cultural Revolution I shared with my father this musical story, after receiving his kind forgiveness. I told him how much I loved him. Upon finishing shooting Together, I realized my film is also a story about my father and me.
When the hall lit up once again after showing the film at the premiere held in Beijing, China, the music never stopped. I saw a young girl of about fourteen years old crying before our very eyes. Immediately, an image of myself at the age of fourteen emerged in my mind. I believe she did not have to experience the political persecution that I had been through, however, as long as human beings are still suffering from agony, classical music will arise from the dark to console our souls and re-inject confidence and hopes into our lives.
©2003 Landmark Theatres