Xiaochun is at 13 an award winning violin player and his father’s pride and joy. The father, a simple country chef, puts all his hopes on his sons success and fame. When Xiaochun gets an invitation to compete in Beijing they set out for the big city. Beijing makes a strong impression on the father and son team, and they are caught by surprise when they realise that most things evolves around money and materialism rather than talent.
Among the other characters we find Lili, a well-paid ’glamour girl’, Xiaochun's first love and amorous letdown, and a disillusioned and bitter music teacher. Both take Xiaochun under their wings and play important parts on his road to self-discovery.
Visually TOGETHER is stunning and full of atmosphere. The cinematography combined with the beautiful and often powerful music score are vital components in telling this story. TOGETHER won Best Director (Chen Kaige) and Best Actor (Liu Peiqi) at the 50th San Sebastian Film Festival.
Chen Kaige was born in 1952 and educated at Beijing’s Film Institute. He belongs to what is often referred to as China’s fifth generation of filmmakers. He made his directorial debut with YELLOW EARTH (Huang tu di) in 1984, winner of numerous awards including the London Film Festival. He didn’t really acheive International success until FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE (1993), winner of the Golden Shell in Cannes, a Golden Globe, and numerous filmcritic awards, as well as an Oscar nomination. Chen Kaige also had great success with THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN in 1999. In 2002 he directed his first English spoken film, the erotic thriller KILLING ME SOFTLY.