Friday, July 16, 2010
If there is any sign of progress that our troubled age can boast, it is that slavery is no longer legal anywhere in the world. However, there are many places where it is still practiced. This film concerns the trials and tribulations of one Iranian boy and his sister who are abducted from the streets when they become separated briefly from their parents. The boy is sold to a band of smugglers, who adds him to their troupe of human donkeys; the slaves' job is to sneak across the border bearing contraband items. Since they outnumber the border guards, the majority of the hundreds of slaves get through each time, ensuring a tidy profit for their keepers. The girl is destined for a grimmer fate; dressed in silks, she is to be the plaything for a Saudi prince. With the help of a new friend, the boy escapes and risks everything to rescue his sister.
This is the story of Mei, a young woman on a trip from East to West after her escape from her provincial Chinese village. Beginning in Chongqing and a disastrous factory job, Mei soon heads out for London and a marriage to an older man where her entrapment begins anew. (Pusan International Film Festival)
This international film festival award winner did not disappoint me, not particularly impressive but still inspiring. The film is a beautiful and delicate work, revolving the story of a Chinese girl who moved from one place to another and tried to pursue something invisible and uncatchable. I read Xiaolu Guo's books before, and it is quite obvious to me that she truly got talent in portraying and conveying the sense of loneliness deep inside the hearts of modern people. I love movies, every movie to me is a unique journey to different places. And this time Xiaolu Guo took me travelling from city to city, letting me have reflections on my own identity and a thorough thinking of what I am running after. The film covers quite a lot of topics, from love to hate, discussing what really matters to us, what a life we are looking for. Having the story developing in a believable way is a tribute to the director and actors. Huang Lu gave a solid performance this time, successfully making the character alive in audience's mind.It is a film about people and people, about people and city.
Won Golden Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival 2009