Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress


(out of 5)

Original title:  Xiao cai feng

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.

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France/China, 2002

Directed by

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 ,

Golden Globe Awards 2002.

National Board of Review Awards 2005.  

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