Friday, November 4, 2011

A French take on China

Chinese movie night. Liz recently read the Paris-based Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress novel so we decided to watch the film he made of it in 2002. Dai is of the generation who grew up during the Cultural Revolution and was sent to be re-educated in the countryside during the early 70s. Both the book and the film recreate that difficult time, but switch the action to two young city boys who woo a local peasant girl by reading foreign literature to her - a dangerous act at the time. 

Dai moved to France in the 80s and made three films there before shooting this one, with a French film-crew, back in China. The Hunan scenery is gorgeous, although it's supposed to be in the Three Gorges area of Sichuan. A nice, unassuming film which plays its politics deftly and lyrically.  

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