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 »
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 custody. Her tiny apartment, he discovers, is a shrine to his favorite escape, the movies. He finds her diary - a screenplay of her life built around scenes from favorite films - and it sets off his imagination. Maybe they have more in common than a love of the movies. Written by
Lingling was locked inside the house because her mother wanted her to stay at home and study. She was in her bed looking at a picture, in the first shot, you can see the word "China" on her pillow. When the camera switched the position, the word "china" disappeared on her pillow. She clearly moved her position even though she was supposed to be in the same spot. See more »
Sentimental but subtle study of post-Cultural Revolution Chinese experience
Jiang Xian uses the complex backstory of Ling Ling and Mao Daobing to study Mao's "cultural revolution" (1966-1976) at the village level. The film has the elements and pace of Chinese opera and so appears slow and sometimes sentimental to the foreign viewer. But the movie provides a window onto contemporary life in China, with its focus upon villagers in the city, the consuming quality of subsistence--daily struggle, family and local cruelties--and the appeal of movies as escape, fantasy, and, ultimately, as source of community. This last is the most radical element in the film, for it suggests the modern--and universal--experience of culture will replace the insular Chinese traditions. The child actors are particularly fine.
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