Li Yuanni is asked which child should be saved, and she impulsively answers her son Fang Da.
So it's hard to get a sense that time is really passing, when nothing really changes.
And sometimes the acting is terrible by the some of the main cast, really it's only the mother, especially the scene near the end where she starts panting like a dog. And the Canadian guy, Fang Deng's husband, had to be one of the worst actors I've ever seen, even if he was only on screen for two minutes.
Tangshan dadizhen (Aftershock in English) is unlike many in its league distinguishing itself by having a human core in the center of it all.
I'll even dare call it the greatest natural disaster film ever made.
Two natural disasters frame a story of a mother, her children and a painful decision that scars them forever in this grand-scale drama from China.