7.3/10
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47 user 65 critic

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

Xiao cai feng (original title)
Two youths sent for a Maoist "re-education" in the mountains fall in love with the village tailor's granddaughter.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Little Chinese Seamstress
...
Ma
...
Luo
Shuangbao Wang ...
Head of the Village
Zhijun Cong ...
Old Tailor
Hongwei Wang ...
Four Eyes
Xiong Xiao ...
Mother of Four Eyes
Zuohui Tang ...
Old Mill Worker
Wei Chen ...
Wife of the Head of the Village
Tianlu Chen ...
Director of the Commune
Qing-yun Fan ...
Doctor
Jie Min ...
Peasant
He Zhang ...
Peasant
Yukun Xu ...
Peasant
Lina Mei ...
Female Villager
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Storyline

In 1971 China, in the lingering grip of the cultural revolution, two university students, Luo and Ma, are sent to a mountain mining village as part of their reeducation duty to purge them of their classical western oriented education. Amid the backbreaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, the two boys find that music, and the presence of the beautiful local young women are the only pleasant things in their miserable life. However, none compare to the young seamstress granddaughter of the local tailor. Stealing a departing student's secret cache of forbidden books of classic western literature such as the works of Honore de Balzac, they set about to woo her and teach her things she had never imagined. In doing so, they start a journey that would profoundly change her perspective on her world and teach the boys about the power of literature and their own ability to change their world in truly revolutionary ways. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 October 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,953 (Hong Kong) (31 January 2003)

Gross:

$665,260 (USA) (20 January 2006)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was allowed in China after seven months negotiations with the authorities, but any projection on Chinese territory was banned. See more »

Soundtracks

String quartet
opus 131
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

A reminder of why I like escapism
20 October 2003 | by (San Diego,Calif,USA) – See all my reviews

I wanted to see a few films at the recent Asian Film Festival here in San Diego. So I chose three films that seemed to grab my interest. "Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress" was one of them. So after seeing an ok film from Taiwan the night before,I headed down to the cool art theatre this night to catch "The Little Chinese Seamstress." Wow! Packed house...wow! one empty seat next to me,and an attractive Asian girl by herself sits down..wow! I was lost in the film,as was the rest of the audience(including the cute girl) This film took a wide eyed,but intelligent swipe at the upside down vision of Mao's Cultural Revolution,and asked us"What if?" The simple,humorous story,and the lead characters drew that whole audience in,and reminded me of why I like the movies. I like a good heavy drama as much as anyone,but as I sat there in the dark packed house that night flying over the most beautiful lush Chinese landscapes,and really being involved in the three characters plights,amid tears and sniffles scattered throughout the theatre(i got choked up a bit too) I realized that sometimes less is more in filmmaking,and it can mean the difference between connecting with the story and characters,and just being along for the ride du jour. This film plays like a classical piece of music you never want to end.


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