Zhan. Gu (The drummer, Hong Kong, 2007)

drummerI finally watched one of the FilmMovement.com movies I have kept receiving since my last birthday. It was worth it. As my wife’s cousin noticed the protagonist of The Drummer was played by Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee. The story follows him, the son of a gangster, who is on his way to become an urban good-for-nothing boy himself. But when he sleep with the wrong girl (an even bigger gangster’s daughter) his father protects him from punishment by sending him out of the hustling life of the Metropolis to the countryside. There in his boredom he stumbles upon a group of Zen drummer. The rest you can guess:he becomes one of them, follows their training finds himself and his path. But there are quite a few surprises in the last 10 minutes of the movie.

The beauty of the movie lays in the ways of the Zen drummers. Their performance looked like Taiko drumming that I have seen (loved and heard) several times. But, as often with Asian artforms, the drumming is just part of a whole life style and philosophy. We get an enchanting peak into their practices, which seem deep, spiritual and elevating. I will try to re-watch the movie again just to get a clearer picture of them. My view of the movies was often diminished by my daughter who stood between me and the TV. This made it hard to read the subtitles. But she clearly enjoyed it too. (Except for the 4-5 violent scenes from which we shielded her from.)

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