Pushing Hands

Directed by Ang Lee
Film Movement Classics
1991
105 Minutes
Taiwan, USA
Mandarin, English
Asian, Classics, Comedy, Drama
Not Rated

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. The debut film of director Ang Lee, in a new 2K restoration.

Director & Cast

Trailer

Photos

Reviews

  • "'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
  • "A lovingly observed human comedy."
    Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  • "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
  • "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
  • "The right mixture of comedy and poignancy."
    Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • "A terrifically impressive debut!"
    Betsy Sherman, Boston Globe
  • "Handled with grace and beauty."
    Zena Jones, San Francisco Chronicle