|Index||2 reviews in total|
Luo Jiang and Guihua, a poor, middle-aged couple with few prospects,
decide to buy an 11- year-old girl, Xiao Ezi (aka "Little Moth"), for
$140 in rural China. Xiao Ezi's life is in peril, as she is forced to
earn money for her new parents as a beggar while suffering from a blood
disease that leaves her unable to walk. Her greedy adoptive father, Luo
Jiang, refuses to buy her medicine, while Guihua's growing maternal
affection wracks her with guilt. After a run-in with local
extortionists, the three flee into the territory of the unsavory Mr.
Yang, whose one-armed boy Xiao Chun is also forced to beg. Inevitably
the grownups take turns taking advantage of each other, giving the
children a rare opportunity to develop a protective bond with one
With virtually no budget, a hand-held digital camera and a cast of non-professionals, Peng Tao turns the sordid street life of small town China into a chain-reaction tale of human cruelty and unforgettable suspense. LITTLE MOTH "melds the anger and storytelling scope of Dickens, the doc-influenced immediacy and sensitive gaze of the Dardenne brothers, and the best tendencies of recent Chinese cinema." (Robert Koehler, Variety).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Little Moth" is an extraordinary film about the life of a little girl
in emerging China. The performance of Zhao Huihui in the role of Xiao
Ezi, is one of the most amazing performances by a child actress I have
ever seen. From her first appearance in the film, Zhao projected a
poetic insight into her circumstances which never flinched, no matter
how horribly the truth manifested itself. The truth was relentless, and
Zhao Huihui, I speak to you from from my heart and from the comfort of my home in American. I extend my hand of friendship to you and to all of China. I do not think I will sleep tonight. I was so deeply moved by your performance, and all of your supporting actors. Thank you all for reminding us all of the simple necessity of compassion.
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