Combustible Celluloid
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With: Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Liu Ye, Wang Shuanbao, Cong Zhijun
Written by: Dai Sijie, Nadine Perront, based on the book by Dai Sijie
Directed by: Dai Sijie
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Running Time: 110
Date: 03/19/2013

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2005)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on his own book, Dai Sijie's lovely Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress hops through three years in the lives of two educated Chinese boys, who, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution are sent to the mountains for "re-education." Rather than submitting, they dive into a hoard of secret, forbidden books and change their own lives, as well as that of the girl of the title. Like a sweet, swift Jules and Jim, it focuses less on a crafted plot than on incidents, but it still manages to capture a specific emotional flow.

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