7.3/10
3,781
47 user 64 critic

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

Xiao cai feng (original title)
Two youths sent for a Maoist "re-education" in the mountains fall in love with the village tailor's granddaughter.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

At the house of a famous Chinese botanist teacher his daughter and a female intern fall in love with each other - a forbidden love that must be kept secret.

Director: Sijie Dai
Stars: Mylène Jampanoï, Xiaoran Li, Dong Fu Lin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A seventeen-year-old country boy working in Beijing as a courier has his bicycle stolen, and finds it with a schoolboy his age.

Director: Xiaoshuai Wang
Stars: Lin Cui, Xun Zhou, Bin Li
Suzhou River (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the ... See full summary »

Director: Ye Lou
Stars: Xun Zhou, Hongshen Jia, Zhongkai Hua
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Wei Wei Zhao, Qiong Wu, Tao Zhao
Lan Yu (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Ye Liu, Jun Hu, Bin Li
To Live (1994)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu
Not One Less (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang, Zhenda Tian
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

French female student Elsa fell in love with silk researcher, shakuhachi master Mayon, and later in Paris with Mayon's brother who built tattoos to generate emotion between people. The ... See full summary »

Director: Sijie Dai
Stars: Yifei Liu, Ye Liu, Leon Lai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A soldier returning from war is hired by her own father to drive his prostitutes around town. She calls upon herself to help one of them.

Director: Annette K. Olesen
Stars: Trine Dyrholm, Lorna Brown, Finn Nielsen
Happy Times (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Lifan Dong, Benshan Zhao, Jie Dong
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Celestine, the chambermaid, has new job on the country. The Monteils, who she works for are a group of strange people. The wife is frigid, her husband is always hunting (both animals and ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli, Georges Géret
Black Rain (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Little Chinese Seamstress
...
Ma
...
Luo
Shuangbao Wang ...
Head of the Village
Zhijun Cong ...
Old Tailor
Hongwei Wang ...
Four Eyes
Xiong Xiao ...
Mother of Four Eyes
Zuohui Tang ...
Old Mill Worker
Wei Chen ...
Wife of the Head of the Village
Tianlu Chen ...
Director of the Commune
Qing-yun Fan ...
Doctor
Jie Min ...
Peasant
He Zhang ...
Peasant
Yukun Xu ...
Peasant
Lina Mei ...
Female Villager
Edit

Storyline

In 1971 China, in the lingering grip of the cultural revolution, two university students, Luo and Ma, are sent to a mountain mining village as part of their reeducation duty to purge them of their classical western oriented education. Amid the backbreaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, the two boys find that music, and the presence of the beautiful local young women are the only pleasant things in their miserable life. However, none compare to the young seamstress granddaughter of the local tailor. Stealing a departing student's secret cache of forbidden books of classic western literature such as the works of Honore de Balzac, they set about to woo her and teach her things she had never imagined. In doing so, they start a journey that would profoundly change her perspective on her world and teach the boys about the power of literature and their own ability to change their world in truly revolutionary ways. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 October 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,953 (Hong Kong) (31 January 2003)

Gross:

$665,260 (USA) (20 January 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was allowed in China after seven months negotiations with the authorities, but any projection on Chinese territory was banned. See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto pour violon N° 3
KV 216
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Reading the French classics
19 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Sijie Dai's wonderful novel, "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" was a joy to read. The author, who one thinks must live in France, made it possible for people that haven't read the book to see it as a motion picture that captures the spirit of the novel.

The action takes place in the China of the Red Brigades. As they swept the country, they wanted to rid of all foreign influence in their culture because it was perceived as a threat to the system. Among the people that fell prey to the hysteria of those days, two young city young men were apprehended and sent to a remote area by the magical Phoenix mountains to start work in one of the mines in the area as part of their reeducation, or brain washing process.

Young Luo and Ma, can't do without their beloved books and the violin that one of them played. Suddenly, these two young men are once again seen as a threat to their small community which is dominated by a man with a small mind who sees evil everywhere. The young men are appalled when they discover that most of the people around them are illiterate. Thus begins a series of readings from the classical books, mostly French, and the young men disguise as coming from another source.

When the tailor for the area arrives with his little assistant, both Luo and Ma can't help in falling in love for her. Only one of them will be successful in being loved back by the beautiful young woman.

The film is beautiful to watch. The impressive backdrop to the story serves as a distraction, at times, into this majestic area of China. The director has achieved a magic moment for the viewer by capturing beautiful images about a place at the end of the world.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If only ... (humour) Red_Menace
Question about the language for US release... mippolit
For those that have read the book... manny_the_uncanny
'We both loved her, but in diferent ways' xlaituvalmetx
Wow- what a film..exceptionally moving ledgehall
DVD release Red_Menace

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?