Liu Yongzhou and his Puppets
The beautiful family courtyard garden where the Liu family has passed down the art of puppeteering for generations serves as a background to this film that examines the art of shadow play in the television and mass media era. Liu Yongzhou, the main protagonist, fights to preserve his art, its use of dialect, its storytelling techniques and imagery by teaching puppeteering classes and taking in apprentices. Unfortunately, his efforts have little impact.He earns a living through ornamental wood carving, a craft he practices with his eldest son. Although his son loves puppets, he too must work as a craftsman for a living. All the shadow play aficionados in the village have high hopes for the younger Liu. However, Liu Yongzhou's grandsons are growing up in conditions much like those their grandfather before them, and they know some simple plays. What the future has in store, only time can tell.