Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Kevin Taylor


My fascination with windsocks began the first time I saw Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, Ran. Whole armies of guys with what appeared to be windsocks on their backs wheeled about, formed battle lines and ran into smoke and chaos. It was insanely beautiful and matched the epic sweep of the narrative about sacrifice, honor and loss.


Warriors of Heaven and Earth came hard on the heels of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Jet Li's Hero, but it's not really part of the same wave. Warriors is far closer in spirit to Kurosawa in this tale of reluctant former soldiers who come out of hiding to escort a camel caravan through the Gobi Desert.


Jiang Wen plays Lt. Li, a soldier who was branded a criminal when he mutinied rather than kill captive women and children. He has become a nomad, staying away from his former comrades so that they might live in peace. Nakai Kiichi is Lai Xi, an imperial agent sent to kill Li, but who writes plaintive letters to a mother he has not seen since entering the emperor's service as a boy.


Both leads powerfully depict men wishing their lives had taken a different track but who deal nobly with their fates. In Warriors, you won't see anybody walking up the side of a bamboo tree -- the Hong Kong wire stunts are used only minimally. You will see sweaty, desperate warriors using all their strength, all their courage and cunning to keep the caravan safe despite relentless and overwhelming odds.


Warriors speaks to the perseverance in all of us. We don't all have swords and armor, though sometimes life feels like we need them. Obstacles abound. Anxiety grabs you by the throat. A lover pulls away. You wonder if you can do anything right.


As the enemy comes charging, there's a small, poignant scene where, one by one, each warrior in the diminished band takes a deep breath, releases a scabbard and pulls out a sword with the sweep of an arm.


For me, for the rest of us, we take a deep breath and throw back the covers. It's the same motion.


It's the same fight for courage, grace, love. We are all warriors, windsocks or no.





Publication date: 05/05/05

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Cherry Pitfalls
  • Cherry Pitfalls

    Why fruit is rotting on trees while workers wait at the border
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • The Real Threats
  • The Real Threats

    What worries Spokane's sheriff; plus, Washington's lawmakers finally hash out a budget
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Party of Five?
  • Party of Five?

    Why Spokane County's newest commissioner is leading the fight to add two more
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Riverfront Park Fourth of July Celebration

Riverfront Park Fourth of July Celebration @ Riverfront Park

Through July 5

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Kevin Taylor

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation