Pushing Hands

Directed by Ang Lee
Film Movement Classics
1991
105 Minutes
Taiwan, USA
Mandarin, English
Asian, Classics, Comedy, Drama
Not Rated
play trailer
Blu-ray
$19.98 Members
$39.95 $19.98 Non-Members
DVD
$14.98 Members
$29.95 $14.98 Non-Members

Having just moved from Beijing, elderly tai chi master Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung) struggles to adjust to life in New York, living with his Americanized son Alex (Ye-tong Wang). Chu immediately butts heads with his put-upon white daughter-in-law, Martha (Deb Snyder), a writer who seems to blame him for her own paralyzing inability to focus. But when Chu begins teaching tai chi at a local school, his desire to make a meaningful connection comes to fruition in the most unexpected of ways. PUSHING HANDS is the debut film from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, forming the first chapter in his "Father Knows Best" trilogy, which depicts the tensions between the traditional Confucian values of the older generation and the realities of modern life. Co-written by collaborator James Schamus, PUSHING HANDS was selected by the 1992 Berlin International Film Festival and won three Golden Horse Awards, paving the way for Lee's worldwide success with films such as CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Presented in a new 2K restoration.

DVD Features

Round Table discussion with filmmakers James Schamus, Ted Hope and Tim Squyres

16-page booklet with new essay by NYU Cinema Studies professor Zhen Zhang

Discs: 1

Blu-ray Features

Round Table discussion with filmmakers James Schamus, Ted Hope and Tim Squyres

16-page booklet with new essay by NYU Cinema Studies professor Zhen Zhang

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "'Pushing Hands' displays many of the charms of Mr. Lee's later work, from attention to cooking (there's a funny and appetizing scene involving the making of dumplings) to sweetly autumnal romance. There's a lovely performance from Lai Wang as one of the few soul mates Mr. Chu finds during travels that take him from Westchester to Chinatown. The 1992 "Pushing Hands" has the crisp good looks of Mr. Lee's other films in this trilogy (all were shot by Jong Lin) and shows the same care with its courtly father figure. Mr. Lung makes palpable the Old World virtues Mr. Lee celebrates and the assurance that however rude life becomes, those virtues won't be washed away."
    Janet Maslin, The New York Times
  • Highest Rating
    "A lovingly observed human comedy."
    Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  • Highest Rating
    "Played with remarkable depth and stoicism by Sihung Lung, a former Taiwanese matinee idol whose career Lee has helped resuscitate, Chu is a tai chi master who's left Beijing to live with his son's family in an upscale New York suburb. What ensues is a poignant and at times comic tale of how Chu copes in a world whose values are drastically different from his own.... Presaging Lee's future success with heartwarming yet bittersweet endings, the finale is worthy of Capra. "
    Ted Shen, Chicago Reader
  • Highest Rating
    "Pushing Hands is a cross-cultural masterpiece by the director of The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman."
    Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
  • Highest Rating
    "The right mixture of comedy and poignancy."
    Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Highest Rating
    "A terrifically impressive debut!"
    Betsy Sherman, Boston Globe
  • Highest Rating
    "Handled with grace and beauty."
    Zena Jones, San Francisco Bay Guardian

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Awards & Recognition