Author Topic: Balzac and the little seamstress  (Read 1558 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27916
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Balzac and the little seamstress
« on: February 23, 2011, 12:00:14 PM »
This is a very good Chinese film based on director Sijie Dai's autobiographical novel and set in Maoist China during the Cultural Revolution, this nostalgic coming-of-age drama follows two young men, Luo (Kun Chen) and Ma (Ye Liu), who are sent to a remote village to be "re-educated" and cleansed of non-Communist influences. While there, both fall under the spell of a local beauty (Xun Zhou) whose heart they hope to win through a secret stash of forbidden Western literature.

The film was made in the extremely mountainous area where the Three Gorges Dam Project was built. One of the men returns to the City to become a professor of dentistry, another an accomplished violinist. One has been sent away for re-education because his father once filled a cavity for Chaing Kai-Shek, another because his parents were university professors of humanities. The locals are living in medieval conditions or worse: most are illiterate, medicine is a combination of herbology and magic, and only one of them, the tailor grandfather of the seamstress, is the only person who has ever seen a violin. Only by calling a Mozart opus "Mozart Contemplates the Thoughts of Chairman Mao" is the violinist able to save the violin from destruction. A cookbook is less fortunate.

This is an extremely well-made film, especially since the world it depicts is very foreign to any Westerner, and yet it all is explained well and made logical to the Western viewer. The subtitles are very well done, as of often not the case with Chinese films, and the scenery is spectacular.

It is available at Netflix.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16136
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Balzac and the little seamstress
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 04:26:01 PM »
I might check this out. Thanks for the review.