Balzac and the Little Chinese seamstress

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Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

(Xiao cai feng)

by Dai Sijie

China, France


Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise

Director: Dai Sijie

Screeplay: Dai Sijie, Nadine Perront after Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Cinematography: Jean-Marie Dreujou

Editor: Julia Gregory, Luc Barnier

Sound: Wu Lala, Nicolas Naegelen, Daniel Sobrino

Music: Wang Pujian

Art Setting: Luo Hailiang

Costumes: Tong Huamiao

Cast: Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Liu Ye, Wang Shuangbao, Cong Zhijun, Wang Hongwei, Xiao Xiong

Production: Les productions Internationales Le film, TF1 International, France 3 Cinéma, Studio Canal Les films de la Suane

Bac Films
88 rue de la Folie Mericourt
75011 Paris
Tel: 0033
Fax: 0033

Year: 2002

35 mm, Color, 116 min
OV Mandarin Chinese with French subtitles

In China, in the early 70ies, intellectuals are sent to the fields to be tought the hard reality of life. This is the time of the Cultural Revolution. Luo and Ma, sons of such intellectuals enemies of the people, are sent to a rehabilitation centre in the Mountain of the Phoenix of the Sky, at the boarder of Tibet. They live among illiterate uncouth villagers. From the very beginning, their daring resourcefulness help them to bear their daily life: exhausting labour in the paddy fields and humiliating chores without real hope for going back to their normal life. One day, an old tailor comes to their village with his sawing machine and his very beautiful grand daughter. In order to seduce her, they will become story tellers inspired by the melodramatic Chinese films and later by the north Korean films which they are ordered to see in the closest town and to report to the whole village during long evenings. One day, the little seamstress tells them about " Little Four Eyed ", the son of famous writer and poetess, who has been hiding a suitcase under his bed, filled with foreign forbidden books.

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