Just like the movie Tian Yun Shan Chuan Qi (Legend of Mount Sky Cloud) released in 1980, this movie is not nationalistic at all. Instead, it is philosophical, and in fact, a rather simple one: Money cannot buy you happiness or true love.
Besides the Taoist philosophical theme mentioned above, there is an also pragmatism reflected: the herdsman is near his forties and it would be really difficult to adjust to a completely new life style, in fact, not only adjusting, but actually learning. Furthermore, the problem would be greater for the family: the wife and child would face the same dilemma if they went with him, but if he went along, there would also be the problems caused by long-term separation.
The pragmatism is another Taoism philosophy, which was especially popular in the post Cultural Revolution era: After the pro-long political turmoil, people would not dream of luxury, a simple happy life with a loving family is the best. This is the true theme of the movie.
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