Hong gao liang (1988) Script

"The film won the Golden Bear Award at 38th Berlin International Film Festival."

"Xi'an Film Studio"


Based on the novels by Yan Mo, "Red Sorghum" and "Sorghum Wine"

Let me tell you about the story of my grandfather and grandmother.

It has still been told in my hometown to this day.

As time passes, some people keep believing it, some don't.

This is my grandmother.

The 9th of July in that year is the day on which my grandma got married.

She was going to get married to sorghum winery owner Datou Li, who lived in Slope Shibali.

He didn't get married until he was 50.

Because people knew he was leprous.

One shouldn't cry when sitting on the sedan chair, because it would cause bad fortune.

The headband shouldn't be lifted, otherwise it may result in disturbance.

Get on the sedan.

According to the old custom of that time, the bride would be jolted side to side halfway.

On that day, the chair man and the one who sounded the trumpet was Datou Li's employee.

Besides him, only one more chair man was hired.

He was a famous chair man and later became my grandfather.

Young woman in the sedan, don't just peep.

Talk to us.

Don't you feel bored on this long road?

Yes, conversation avoids boredom, singing prevents tiredness.

Sing a song to us!

It's helpless that you peek through!

Young woman, it's not easy for us to carry you.

Yes, not easy!

Whose daughter? What a pity!

The parents are too cruel. Those money-grubbers!

Her life is destroyed!

Your parents are money-grubbing. Young woman, Datou Li is seriously sick.

He will never recover. Yes, he'll never recover!

You can't let him touch you, ever.


You'll be sick if he touches you.

Right, you'll be really sick!

There's still time to regret, and we will carry you right back.

Right, sent you back!

We're waiting for your decision.

Young woman, sing a song.

Come on, we're carrying you.

Still silent? Jolt the sedan!

We'll make you say something.


"The guests aren't gone. The party isn't over."

"But can't find the groom."

"Eager is the groom."

"Rushes into the room to unveil his bride."

"Ah-ya-ya, my little darling."

"Gosh, big spots all over her face."

"A nose as flat as a pancake."

"Chicken-skin neck, ugly face."

"Hair covered with fleas."

"Ah-ya-ya, my little darling."

Still silence, keep jolting. Jolt!

"Save me from the ugly bride."

"She's now crashing into my thigh."

"Turn around and run."

"I'd rather sleep in the pig pen."

"Ah-ya-ya, my little darling."


On the way from my grandma's to Slope Shibali, there's a place named Qingshakou.

No one knows when dozens of acres of red sorghum began to grow in this place.

There was no plantation or harvest by people.

In my hometown they say this is wild sorghum.

It is also said that it's a haunted place.


Don't run!

Lay down the sedan!

Pull out your money!

I'm sharp-shooter Sanpao.

Give me the money, or I will shoot.

Loose the belt.

Put the money and belt here.

Go to the back of the sedan.

Don't turn around.

Stay down.

Don't turn around, or I'll shoot.

Get out of the sedan.

Go into the sorghum field.

Hurry up!

Don't look around! Go!

Beat him up!

He's so weak.

He's dead.

He's not Bald Sanpao.

He got hair. And the gun was bogus.

Audacious bloke, indeed.

Few people lived in Slope Shibali.

Plus the boss was leprous, few people came here for other than buying the wine.

Meeting the daughter three days after marriage is the custom in my hometown.

On that day, my great-grandfather brought her home.

You should return to Li's home.

He's so generous.

Easily give us a big black mule.

It doesn't matter whether you're willing or not.

Don't hold the scissors.

You have to come back to Li's home.

Daughter, why are you in such a hurry?

It's been a long time since you went peeing.

How can you hold it for so long?

"Sis, daringly keep going ahead."

"Keep ahead, and don't turn back."

"There're 9999 roads and they all lead to the heaven."

"Sis, daringly keep going ahead."

"Keep ahead, and don't turn back."

"From now on, you'll build up a red attic"

"and cast an embroider ball"

"right on my head."

"Together with you, let's drink a bottle of"

"red sorghum wine."

You, the singer! Come out!

Fucking neither fish nor fowl.

What kind of rubbish are you singing?

"Sis, daringly keep going ahead."

"Keep ahead, and don't turn back."

What's all the flaunting about? You don't eat? Are you an immortal?

You have so much luck yet you're still so stubborn.

Haven't you noticed that Li offered us a black mule?

Go back and live a serious life.

Think about the future. Li's fortune will all be yours.

What do you expect from a life like this?

You have been married to him. So you'll be his wife, no matter what.

Finish off dinner, and then go back.

I will go!

You're not my father. I don't have a father like you.

You just want to trade me for a big black mule.

Live with your mule.

I will go, and I'll never come back.

You brat!

How dare you to say that!

Do you think it was easy for your mother and me?

While my grandmother yelled at her father, something happened in Slope Shibali.

Datou Li was killed by someone.

No one knew who did it.

But I always feel it was my grandfather.

As long as he lived, I never asked him about it.

Da'zhuang, Er'zhuang.

Let's go. We can feed ourselves wherever we go.

This house of leper is of bad luck.

Bad things happened since he married that woman.

It's really evil.

The boss disappeared without any movements.

And all the doors are locked.

The pipe is still on the bed.

I've heard that one of his shoes was found under the Qingshakou Bridge.

He probably was killed by someone.

It's hard to say, as it happened at Qingshakou bridge.

Two days ago, some officials from the county administration came.

But they found nothing after three days of investigation.

Who on the earth did this?

The old fellow was a bad guy.

It must have been someone taking revenge.

The killer didn't steal anything.

Someone just wanted him dead.

This woman creates only trouble.

There is no peace.

Since she arrived here in the sedan, she only flirted with the chair man.

Don't talk too much.

Let's pack up and leave tomorrow.

Don't stir up trouble.

I come in! Come in!

I haven't got any trousers on.

Er'dan's father, how can you still be drinking?

Go to sleep.

I saw the woman sitting alone in the courtyard.

It was so black and frightening.

Is it? Tell her to move in here!

Have you gone mad?

She fears getting sick and doesn't want to go inside.

Poor woman.



The sorghum wine can cure any sort of illness.

Be careful with it, boss.

Please, don't leave.

I have something to say.

We shouldn't disband the group.

Luohan brother.

Luohan brother, you've been staying here a long time.

Everything in here depends on you.

I'm just a woman, and need the help from all of you.

If someone's really fed up with this place, I won't force him to stay.

Yet the wages for this month will be paid as usual.

If someone decides to come back, he'll still be welcomed.

I think you all better stay.

If we do the business well, we share the profit.

What do you think?

All right, we stay.

All right. Don't leave anymore.

Stay! Listen to the boss!

From now on, don't call me boss anymore.

I was also born and raised in a poor family.

There's no hierarchy in our winery.

I'm the ninth child of my family and I was born on the 9th September.

People call me Jiu'er.

And you can call me Jiu'er, too.


Boss, should we clean up the courtyard today?

We dare not to come here, because we fear to get infected. So let's do a clean-up.

From now on, you are the leader, just give us your orders.

Yes, tell us what to do.

All right.

Over the next three days, we won't produce any wine.

Everybody help to clean the house.

All things the old boss used and touched are to be burned or buried.

Luohan brother, buy some bleach and sweep up the backyard.

Then sprinkle the whole Slope Shibali three times with sorghum wine.

Didn't you say it can cure any disease?

Today, we'll use it to disinfect the place.

This key has been washed with wine three times.

My property is yours too.

Just keep it.

Just in the sorghum field.

I can walk on my own.

You must have forgotten. I didn't get it.

So what happened next?

What happened?

I made the sorghum even and then she layed down.

Once she lay down, I was pleased.

That's enough, guys. Go!

Right, listen to him. Go.

You stop here.

It's not long from home. I'll get in soon.

Go to that room.

I want to sleep in here.

From now on, I'll sleep here everyday.

This is mine. That's the room of our boss.

Boss? Who the hell is the boss?

You mean Datou Li?

Datou Li is nothing but a turd.

I wouldn't fear him even if he were alive.

I tell you, she's my wife.


She said that she liked me.

She said it in the sorghum field.

She told me herself that she liked me.


You yourself told me you liked me.

She pretended, she wanted me to come in.

Go back.

Go back.

This man is really drunk. Pull him out!

Hold him.

You young woman, you were nice when you took off your pants.

Now you pretend not to know me after you put on your pants.

I want to sleep in the back room.

I'm tired.

Shut up!

It feels so good!

Boss, calm down.

Take him away.

I haven't finished, I have to finish it!

I can't go!

I won't go!

You are cruel, young woman!

It's not easy for me to come here.

Mother, get his baggage.

I can't breathe!

Don't cover me!

Let me out!

The bandits are coming!

Did you sleep with Datou Li?



"Sis, daringly keep going ahead."

"Keep ahead, and don't turn back."

My grandfather slept in the barrel for three days.

Bald Sanpao abducted my grandmother and demanded ransom if they wanted her back.

If they wouldn't pay, she'd be found dead at Qingshakou Bridge.

Jiu'er is back!

Luohan brother, you are back.

Be careful.

Gimme some wine.

Is there anyone alive?

What is there to eat?

We only have cattle head.

I want beef.

There's only cattle head.

Shit. Give me some.

I want to eat beef, old man.

There's no choice. If you don't want it, piss off!

How dare you talk to me like that?

Today, I must eat beef.

Sit down and relax.

The beef is not for you, young man.

It is for Sanpao.

One silver coin.

I've got only three copper coins.

One silver coin.

Only three copper coins!

Young man, you don't want to pay for the food?

If you don't want it, forget it.



What's the matter, koryo hoodlum?

Boss, this man wants to leave without paying.

Cut off his tongue.

I'm sorry. I was drunk.

I was just kidding with the old man.

OK, keep your tongue, so you can kiss women.

Go to our boss and kneel down.


Will you go or not? I'll go.

Kneel down!

Don't you know anything about here? Dare to make trouble here?

Come on guys, drink.

Please, forgive me.

I was blind and I shouldn't have offended you.

I've been drunk and I've been joking.

I won't do this again.

Don't move, or I will kill him!

Don't move, don't move!

Brother, I never cause you any trouble.

But you son of a bitch ruined my woman!

Your woman?

The woman in the winery?

Yes, you raped her!

No, I just asked her for 3000 silver coins.


I would never touch a woman that was touched by a leprous man.

Brother, don't you believe me?

Then cut off my head.


Boss, this guy is none of us.

Let's kill him.

Killing him here would make a mess of my meat shop.

Go to the door, you brat. Do you fear death?

Bald Sanpao, you cheater!

I didn't kill you and spared your life.

But still, you turned against me.

Thanks to Luohan brother, he took care of everything these days.

Thank goodness, you came back safely.

Boss, do you feel ok now?

Today is the 9th of September.

According to the rules, we're lighting the fire and making wine.

Don't you want to have a look?

Take a walk and calm down.

All right.

It has been a long time since I came here and I really haven't seen it.

Luohan brother, please don't call me boss any more.

You are the only one who still calls me boss.

Yes, boss.

Guys, the boss is coming!

Keep up the work.

Don't we know each other, huh?

Did you dress up?

Trumpet, how's the water? It's not ready yet.

Look, this is the steam boiler from which the wine comes out.

Cool it with cold water, and the wine will flow out here.

Da'zhuang, Er'zhuang, let me try.

OK, have a try.

It's so heavy.

Sit down, Jiu'er.

Today I want to learn how the red sorghum is turned into sorghum wine.

Cold water! Here comes the cold water!

More heat!

Add the cold water!

Here comes the cold water again!

Heat! Quickly!

Collect the wine.

A toast to the god of wine!

"On 9th of September, we make the best wine."

"The best wine."

"if you drink our wine,"

"you'll feel well and never cough."

"if you drink our wine,"

"you'll go strong and be healthy."

"if you drink our wine,"

"you won't fear the Qingshakou anymore."

"if you drink our wine,"

"you won't be scared of anything."

"One, four, seven, three, six, and nine,"

"just follow me to a whole new start."

"Best wine, best wine, best wine."

Boss, have a taste of the new wine.

Drink a bowl.

Come on, drink it up.

Jiu'er, drink it!

Drink it!

Drink it up!

Jiu'er, you're good at it.

No, I'm not.

If you practise some more, you can drink a whole pot of it.

Nobody's like you!

Ah, so nice!


So nice.

You've come back.

It's so nice.

Get one bowl of the new wine.

What are you doing?

Let me make you some wine.

My grandfather peed into the wine jars.

It was meant to be a prank.

But strange enough those jars of wine turned out to be nice wine.

Boss, I have good news!

Boss, I have good news!

Luohan brother!

Boss, I have good news.

The wine is perfect.

I've been working at the boiler for more than ten years.

But I never seen such a good wine.

Boss, give this wine a name.

People and wine are all remembered by their names.

Since we live in Slope Shibali...

Let's call it 'Red Shibali'.

Jiu'er, I left 'Red Shibali' at the door.

On that night, my grandfather Luohan went away.

Nine years passed, and 'Red Shibali' became famous.

My father was 9 years old then.

People said my father was a bastard born in the sorghum field.

Once, 99 years old granny Wang from my hometown told me

9 out of 10 bastards born in a sorghum field are jerks.



Luohan brother!

It's Luohan brother.

The Japanese army came in fast.

In July of that year their road overpass extended to Qingshakou.

Nice craft.

Thank you, chief.

The officer also praised you.

I only make it for feeding myself.

The officer says it's not enough to peel only one.

He wants you to peel one more.

All right.

Look, there.

What are you looking at? Go and peel him.

Sir, you can't be serious?!

Of course I am. Go, peel him off.

Hurry up!

What are you waiting for? Hurry up!

Chief, I can't do that.

Please, don't make me do this.

The officer says if you don't do it, you will be killed.

Everybody listen!

Your sorghum is crushed.

Now I will show you how to peel the human skin.

Watch carefully the one hanging there.

If anyone dares to interrupt, they'll be treated the same way.


Let me die easily, please.

I'd be thankful to you, even in the afterlife.

What are you waiting for?

Chief, it's easier to do this if we treat him with cold water.

You really are good at it.

Boss, you cannot survive this time.

I have no choice.

Come on, hurry!

You dog!

You're the Japanese's dog!

You traitor!

You dog!

You dog!

You dog!

Go to hell, Japanese bastards!

Spare me, please! I can't do this!

You must peel him!

Peel him alive! I'm sorry, please forgive me!

You son of a bitch, do it!

Take the knife.

You have to peel him off, get it?

If you don't do it, you'll be killed too.

The officer says, if you don't do it you will be peeled. Do you understand?

Hurry up!

Luohan brother.

Don't struggle, brother.

Be quick!

Do it!

It's said in my hometown that my grandfather Luohan joined the Communist Party and was assigned to recruit people for fighting the Japanese army.

I've checked the county's records.

The Japanese captured 400,000 people and used them as forced laborers to build the Zhangping road.

They destroyed many crops and killed thousands of people.

At Qingshakou, Luohan Liu was peeled in public.

He didn't show any sign of fear and condemned the Japanese until his last breath.

Douguan, kneel down.

This is the Red Shibali made by your uncle Luohan.


Drink the wine.

If you are men with guts, drink up the wine.

We're going to sabotage the Japanese's cars and avenge Luohan brother.

"On 9th of September, we make the best wine."

"The best wine."

"If you drink our wine,"

"you'll feel well and never cough."

"If you drink our wine,"

"you'll go strong and be healthy."

"If you drink our wine,"

"you won't fear the Qingshakou anymore."

"If you drink our wine,"

"you won't be scared of anything."

"One, four, seven, three, six, and nine,"

"just follow me to a whole new start."

"Best wine, best wine, best wine."

Douguan, come here.

What's the matter?


Trumpet, when the fight starts you have to blow the trumpet as loud as you can.

I can only play some easy stuff.

What song should I play then?

It doesn't matter. Just play something.

The Japanese will be scared.

Use all your strength. The louder, the better.

The car is coming!

Wake up! Check your gun.

I filled it with two deals of powder, so it must be able to shoot.

My dad told me that his eyes went bad since he had seen the sun on that day and everything was red to him.

Years ago, when I returned to my hometown, Qingshkou Bridge was still there, but the sorghum was gone.


The fight is over?

Not yet.

Where's your dad and the others?

They're sleeping.

And they're hungry.



Child's mother!


Fire the cannon!

Da'zhuang! Er'zhuang!

It doesn't explode.

Let's go, quick!




"Sis, daringly keep going ahead."

"Keep ahead, and don't turn back."

"From now on, you'll"

"build up a red attic"

"and cast an embroider ball"

"right on my head."

"Together with you, let's drink a bottle of"

"red sorghum wine."

Dad, look!

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"The roads are wide and the treasure ships are long."

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"On a big horse travel with enough money."

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"Settle down where landed. Beg alms when needed."

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"The roads are wide and the treasure ships are long."

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"On a big horse travel with enough money."

"Mom, mom, go southwest."

"Settle down where landed. Beg alms when needed."