Sunday, November 20, 2011

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

In celebration of November, which was declared by the Department of Education as the National Reading Month, we are going to screen the film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress on Saturday, November 26, 7 PM, at the Encinas Pavilion.

Set during the Cultural Revolution in China, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a coming-of-age story of two teenagers from bourgeois families who were sent by the Communist government to the countryside to be re-educated by the rural villagers. Staying in the mountain village, they fell in love with one girl and, along the way, discovered the illicit pleasure of reading Western literature forbidden by the government.

Balzac had me at its first scene where to escape the destruction of a prized violin and hide their attachment to Western bourgeois music, the two teenagers misrepresented Mozart's Divertimento, K 334 as being entitled Mozart Thinking of Chairman Mao. After which, the village chief, knowing no better, pompously proclaimed that indeed Mozart is always thinking of Chairman Mao. Hilariously funny.

This is one of my all-time favorite films.It has gorgeous landscape, a wonderful story, a political subplot and a heartbreaking ending. I think anybody who loves reading literature will fall in love with this film.

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