Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

SIJIE DAI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Original title:  Xiao cai feng

France/China, 2002.  , , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Sijie Dai, , based on the novel by Sijie Dai.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Two teenagers, both sons of political dissidents in Maoist China, are sent to a Communist re-education camp in a mountaintop village populated by illiterate peasants who train them in the ecological labour of the common man. When one of them falls in love with the village tailor’s granddaughter, the two men and the young girl meet in secret to read European literature that has been forbidden after the Cultural Revolution.  She ends up loving the work of Balzac more than the boy who cares for her, giving her a new direction for her life and the impetus to try and reach for something more. This enjoyable melodrama could definitely do without the modern update in the last third that bogs the pace down before the ending, but otherwise is solid entertainment and very educational. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and the characters are all amiable.

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

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