Woman Sesame Oil Maker
(Xiang Hun Nu)
by Xie Fei
Director: Xie Fei
Script: Xie Fei after Zhou Daxin's novel
Cinematographer: Bao Xiaoran
Music: Wang Lipin
Cast: Siqin Gaowa, Wu Yujuan, Lei Keshen, Chen Baoguo
Production: Les Studios Tianjin, Changchun Films
35 mm, Color, 105 min
OV Mandarin with French Subtitles
Illiterate villager Second Sister Xiang was sold as a tongyangxi (child bride) to her present husband, a man with a lame leg, when she was seven. She has an intellectually disabled son Dunzi, who suffers from epileptic fits and is now grown up, and a younger daughter Zhi'er. Through her diligence she has started a successful sesame oil mill and now becomes the richest person in her village.
A Japanese businesswoman decides to invest in her business after visiting her mill. Meanwhile, Sister Xiang tries to find a bride for her son. She engineers her son's marriage with Huanhuan, a peasant girl whose family is in dire financial straits. One night, Dunzi nearly strangles Huanhuan to death during a fit. Huanhuan runs back home, but her mother-in-law makes sure she returns. Huanhuan witnesses her drunk father-in-law beating Sister Xiang in bed. She also chances on Sister Xiang in an adulterous affair with family friend Ren, who fathered her daughter Zhi'er.
« In China's Southern countryside, profoundly marked by the country's latest changes and the modernization of communatary traditions, Xie Fei imagines a drama, which might be a metaphor for the country's changes.
Xie Fei's movie is a story which starts again over and over: oppression of a woman on her older sister.
Miss Xiang is played by Siqin Gaoxa, a star born in Mongolia, which had been revealed at the beginning of the 1980s and has gathered many awards.