Friday, August 7, 2009

Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress (DVD)

Based on the book of the same name by Dai Sijie, and directed by the author, who also co-wrote the script, Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress is a beautiful film set during the harsh period of China's cultural revolution.
University students Luo and Ma are sent to a mountain mining village to work with the "real" people and rid themselves of their decadent Western education and ways.
The young men face ignorance, hunger and poverty - both of money and thought - in their new life. Books are forbidden, but Ma is allowed to keep his violin after playing a piece he assures his audience is called "Mozart is thinking of Chairman Mao". The music, and the village's lovely girls, are bright spots in an otherwise harsh existence, which is improved further when they meet the little Chinese seamstress, granddaughter of a travelling tailor.
The boys steal a departing student's secret store of classic western literature, including the works of French author Honore de Balzac, and set out to woo her with words. Their actions change all their lives.
Profound, moving, funny - this film has so much to offer the viewer. The scenery is beautiful and there are some truly hilarious scenes, notably when the boys are sent to a nearby town to see a film then must return to the village and narrate it to the villagers.
Highly recommended!
Rating - I give this 5/5
Get this from the library
Reviewed by Jan @ Ballarat branch

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