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Xiao cai feng (2002)

An easy movie to misinterpret. Despite stunning scenery of 'Phoenix Mountain' flooded by recent damn construction in Chongqing, expect to learn very little here. The real surprise is perhaps a refusal in the PRC to allow release. Why? Here two students forced into hard labor during the cultural revolution remain adolescent characters from start to end, cardboard cutouts who lie for personal benefit. Unable to work in the copper mines or carry fertilizer for crops, they prove themselves by retelling Korean movies to the villagers and playing violin. Balzac is only an excuse for having sex with the illiterate daughter of the village's richest man, who is a tailor. They refuse an offer to learn his trade; after an abortion she exiles herself to Shenzhen and then Hong Kong. Many years later the two men meet again. Both have tried searching for the seamstress without success. Like the off screen action described above, it never becomes clear why they have looked for her. One has become successful, a dentist. The other left China and continued a career in music. Dreamily they reminisce about the problems they caused in their youth without having matured. They seem indifferent and uncaring. But with the village gone the whole tragedy may be forgotten someday.
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