Loneliness, saving face, and public mores. In 1983 in China, Yun is a bright schoolgirl who gets pregnant. She's expelled, her boyfriend leaves town, and her mother arranges the baby's ... See full summary »
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Loneliness, saving face, and public mores. In 1983 in China, Yun is a bright schoolgirl who gets pregnant. She's expelled, her boyfriend leaves town, and her mother arranges the baby's adoption, telling Yun the child died at birth. Ten years later, Yun sings pop songs in a dive, takes the occasional married lover, and lives with her mother, a teacher. The mother tutors a student, Xiao-yong, a lad of ten, who becomes attached to Yun. Yun's mother discovers who the boy's really is and a struggle begins. Should he be told; should Yun reclaim him; does her mother's opinion matter; what about the woman who's raised him? Is there room in a Chinese town for a woman to breathe? Written by
This film played on a public access channel in New York a few days ago, so I watched it. I had never heard of it, but the show, City Cinematheque, shows movies from around the world. This films spans the period of 1983 to 1993 in a provincial town in China and it stars the wonderful Yi Liu as Yun. In 1983, Yun gets pregnant while still in school, causing a scandal. She gives birth but is told the baby was dead. Ten years later and Yun is an opera singer for the locals, having an affair with a married man. You meet Xiao Wong, a 10 year old boy who comes in contact with her. At first annoying her (her nickname for him is "Little Bastard"), you soon see a connection between them. What makes this slow moving, dark film stand out is the authenticity of it. China was going through a post Mao period, but from 1983 to 1993 has much changed in the villages? Special mention again of the amazing Yi Liu in the lead role, but the film will grab you by its honesty. You won't laugh, you may cry, but I don't think you'll forget it.
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