Based on the 1921 novella of the same name by one of China's most well-known modern writers, Lu Xun (Lu Hsun), the True Story of Ah Q is set during the 1911 revolution. Ah Q is a lowly peasant who wants to rise above his class, or at least get out of his grinding poverty. At first he thinks the way to do it is by marrying into a better station in life; later, he joins the revolution as he feels that is the only way he and others like him can transcend poverty. In this film version of Lu Xun's story, the character of Ah Q might benefit from a more rounded humanity to make him appealing to those not familiar with the harsh environment in China before the 1911 revolution.
~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide