OCT. 12-13- 14 • CHINA/FRANCE, 2002 BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS
Dir. Dai Sijie With Zhou Xun, Liu Ye, Chen Kun.
Mandarin w/English subtitles.
N.R, 111 mins.
Based on the director’s semi-autobiographical novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2000), this acclaimed “coming of age” film is set during China’s cultural revolution. Two young university students are sent to a mountain village for a Maoist re-education to purge them of their decadent Western education. Thanks to their skills in music and the discovery of a cache of forbidden French books, they awaken the imagination of a young seamstress to a world beyond her beautiful, yet remote surroundings. There is very little bitterness in this retelling, but rather “a sense of resilience and fondness for youth, beauty and (the liberating power of) literature.”