Ermo questions

Ermo, 1995 dir. Zhou Xiaowen

  1. In the context of the story, why is Ermo dissatisfied with her family life and with her role as wife? What is the source of her energy to make twisted noodles to buy the largest TV set that the county head is unable to afford? 故事中二嫫为什么对她的家庭位置,特别是身为人妻的角色,有所不满?从哪来的那么大的干劲去买一个连乡长都买不起的大电视?
  1. In a sense, this is a story of Ermo’s quest for self-worth and self-actualization; as such what do you think of the story? How does she turn out? At the end, is she a better individual, more fulfilled woman, wife, mother, and richer and more mature than before? Why? 这个故事说的也可以说是二嫫如何要实现自我价值的故事;你怎么看二嫫在这方面的尝试?故事的结尾,她比以前更充实,更优秀了吗?请解释。
  1. In another sense, the story is a critique of China’s social transformation from a planned socialist economy to a free market and liberal economy; what is Zhou Xiaowen saying about the way people embrace and live by a set of new values? 从另一个角度,也可以说这个故事讲的是导演周晓文对中国从计划经济转型到资本主义自由市场经济的看法;周晓文对中国的经济转型的看法是什么?
  1. Ermo’s husband used to be the chief of the village or commune during the Mao’s years; everyone in the village still calls him the chief in the post-socialist era. Do you like or dislike him, and the values he embodies? Is he a likable person? Why? 老村长在毛泽东时代带领大家搞社会主义经济建设,走集体化的道路。而现在他谁也领导不了。你觉得他可爱可敬吗?为什么?
  1. Do you think neighbor Blindman a good influence on Ermo, who introduces her to the market, to the world of commerce, to restaurant jobs, to blood bank in the hospital, and to commercial products such as anti-wrinkle cream and TVs? Why? 瞎子对二嫫的影响是正面的还是负面的?帮她在城里找到挣钱更多的工作,介绍她用除皱纹的皮霜和润肤油,推荐她买大电视?
  1. How do you interpret the fact that the strainer Ermo uses to make noodles is converted into a TV antenna in the end? What is the significance of this detail? 你怎么解释结尾时,二嫫把她做面条用的笊篱当成电视天线?
  1. What does director Zhou Xiaowen suggest to be the relationship between the local and global by ending the film with Ermo and her family dozing off on their “kang” (dirt bed) unable to make sense of what they see, and the weather forecast on TV reporting the weather of major cosmopolitan centers in the world? 电影结束时,二嫫一家在炕上看他们也看不懂的电视节目,特别是全球天气预报;他们越看越困。导演要说明什么问题?
  1. Has the free market or consumerism been a real substitute for Ermo’s domestic life in rural China? Why? 你是怎么看自由的市场经济给二嫫的生活带来的变化?
  1. Where does Ermo put her money every night when she is counting it on bed? What does Zhou Xiaowen suggesting through the shot? 二嫫坐在炕上数钱时,她把一堆零钱放在哪?周晓文想通过这个细节说明什么?
  1. Where does Ermo put her large TV set after she purchases it from the store? What does Zhou Xiaowen suggesting by the TV set taking up that place? 电视买回来之后,二嫫把它放在哪儿了?周晓文想通过这个细节说明什么?
  1. What is the significance of Ermo giving her husband a back massage, with a large and long rolling pin, and with him lying beneath her and calling out “Higher. Lower. Yes, right there”? 有一个场景是二嫫骑在老公身上,用一根很长的擀面杖帮他按摩腰;他在下面跟她说,再高一点;再低一点;就是这儿。你怎么解读这一细节?
  1. What type of herbal medicine is Ermo’s husband taking? What’s wrong with him? 老村长喝的中草药是治什么病的?他身体怎么不好?