Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China). A year ... See full summary »
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Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China). A year later, she agrees to go to even more remote spot with a Tibetan saddle tramp Lao Jin to learn horse herding. Written by
Although the U.S. distributor claimed the film was banned in China for sexual and political content, the script was actually approved by the Chinese government. The film was only banned after the filmmakers decided not to wait for permits before shooting in Tibet (such permits are required for a film to receive official approval). See more »
Xiu Xiu is a beautifully made movie in which Joan Chen combines sumptuous visual imagery, a beautiful, delicate musical score, fine performances by her actors and a spare and intelligent script to produce a simple, moving story of two lost lives.
The movement of the story from the dark confines of the tent Xiu Xiu and Lao Jin share to the almost limitless prairies and big skys of the Tibetan highlands follows the emotional pulse of the film. Expert camera work creates perspectives that sweep from the touchingly intimate to the overwhelmingly vast, exploring the characters from inside and out.
Wonderful, economical performances from newcomer Lu Lu and Tibetan stage veteran Lopsang give profound and touching insight into the extraordinariness of two ordinary people. Chen saves the story from descent into melodrama by a precise and thoughtful restraint that respects, observes, and never intrudes to seek to "explain" or apologize.
A film worth going out of one's way to see.
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