7.3/10
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Shun Li and the Poet (2011)

Io sono Li (original title)
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A study of the friendship between a Chinese woman and a fisherman who came to Italy from Yugoslavia many years ago, who live in a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon.

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16 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shun Li (as Zhao Tao)
...
Bepi, il poeta (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Marco Paolini ...
Roberto Citran ...
Avvocato
...
Giordano Bacci ...
Spartaco Mainardi ...
Zhong Cheng ...
Zang
Wang Yuan ...
Lian
Amleto Voltolina ...
Bode
Andrea Pennacchi ...
Sandro
Guo Qiang Xu ...
Boss (as Xu Guo Qiang)
Sara Perini ...
Sara, moglie di Devis
Federico Hu ...
Hi Zhijian ...
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Storyline

A study of the friendship between a Chinese woman and a fisherman who came to Italy from Yugoslavia many years ago, who live in a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

23 September 2011 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A lány és a költő  »

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Shun Li: I ask the heavenly guardian to open to me. Leaning in the doorway, he scrutinizes me. A whirlwind spins with a greeting from clouds and rainbows.
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Connections

Featured in Pauline détective (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Documentary-like, committed and ... tender
31 October 2012 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

No one on earth can understand an immigrant better than another immigrant. A truism for sure but which has seldom been illustrated so well as in "Io sono Li" (Li and the Poet), the first fiction film of Italian documentary maker Andrea Segre.

Immigration is embodied here by two complementary figures, Shun Li and Bepi.

Shun Li is a young Chinese woman who has succeeded in emigrating to Italy, without her son (whom she sorely misses) but with a debt to pay back to the illegal network that "helped" her to get there.

Bepi, on the other hand, is an old retired fisherman and amateur poet who left Yugoslavia for the little laguna town of Chioggia thirty-five years before.

Both will meet in the osteria (bar-restaurant) where Li works as a replacement barmaid and of which Bepi is a regular and a touching if difficult relationship will develop between them.

That is all there is to this film in terms of narrative, but "Io sono Li" does not need a strong plot to manage to exist. This delicate gem actually delivers much more than its story : a fine description of a rarely shown little town in the Venetian Lagoon, an attack against illegal emigration network, a criticism of intolerance and, best of all, the sensitive portrait of two engaging loners wonderfully played by Tao Zhao (the muse of director Jia Zhangke) and Rade Serbedzija (the Croatian actor who played the bio-chemical expert in "Mission Impossible: II).

When you leave the theater you understand "Io sono Li" is a real achievement.

It has all the virtues of a documentary without being dryly factual.

It is moving, even very moving as the film comes to its close, but without resorting to cheap tear-jerking tricks.

It is an involved work but its commitment is discreet and remains in the background

To make a long story short, 'Io sono Li' is a remarkable first feature that should not be missed.


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