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 »
For no apparent reason, a mute young woman assaults a youth who delivers water on his bicycle, injuring him and ruining his bike. Surprisingly, she asks him to feed her fish while she is in... See full summary »
Hired to spy on a philandering husband, Luo Haitao soon becomes entangled in a clandestine affair with the other man. Along with Luo's girlfriend, they succumb to the delirium of drunken nights, but how long can their tryst last?
In the summer of 1974, Xing-Yu (Shu Qi) meets and falls in love with a rebel, Si-Mong. A member of the Chinese People's Army, her comrades immediately frown on their relationship. Her ... See full summary »
A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" it is not a movie without flaws, by any means. The manner in which it portrays literature and classical music as being magically transformative is a little syrupy and snobbish (not to mention wildly unbelievable), but hey - they only had two hours to try to explain how great books and music can speak to the soul, so I have to cut them some slack. The oppressive Communist Chinese "re-education" program was clearly criticized. There were many characters in the film who spoke directly about freedom. So the message was loud and clear, both for freedom and against oppression. Throw in a sweet love story, stunning landscapes, and appealing main characters, and it's a winning combination.
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