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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
What affected me and haunts me most about Xiu Xiu is the character of Lao Jin and his tender, sexless love and caring for Xiu Xiu. He does his best to make her life easier in a place that she hates, and his pain and frustration mount as he sees how she is destroying herself. His deep, sincere, and inarticulate caring for her touched me profoundly. I wished that a romantic love could develop between them (and I am not generally into movie romances -- very few of them really work for me) but that was out of the question from the beginning, since Lao Jin was castrated. That very fact gave their relationship a sense of tragedy from the beginning.
I would love to see more of this Tibetan actor, Lobsang. Imdb info shows this movie as his only film credit.
The locale was spectacular and gorgeously photographed. Only intellectually could I understand Xiu Xiu's dislike of such a gorgeous place (as well as her lack of appreciation for Lao Jin's caring for her). But both characters were very believable and involving, and this sad movie will stay with me for a long time.
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