Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Watch Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

"A tailor-made love story."
  • 2002
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 7.2  (4,512)
  • 65

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a 2002 French-Chinese film based on the novel written by Dai Sijie. The film is directed by Dai Sijie himself and stars Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, and Ye Liu in the lead roles. It tells the story of two young men, Ma and Luo, who are sent to a remote village in the mountains of China during the Cultural Revolution.

Ma and Luo are both from city families, and they have been sent to the countryside as a punishment for their parents' supposed anti-revolutionary activities. They are assigned to work in a coal mine, but they quickly discover that they can use their education to impress the local villagers. Ma is a talented storyteller, while Luo is a skilled musician. They soon become the main source of entertainment for the villagers.

One day, the two boys discover a hidden cache of banned books, including works by Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, and other Western authors. The books are owned by the Little Seamstress, a young girl who lives in a nearby village. The boys are captivated by the books and soon fall in love with the Little Seamstress.

The rest of the film focuses on Ma and Luo's attempts to educate the Little Seamstress and introduce her to Western literature. They use their storytelling and musical abilities to draw her into their world, and she is soon reading books and dreaming of life beyond the village.

As the boys' relationship with the Little Seamstress deepens, they begin to question the communist ideology that has been imposed on them. They see the limitations of the narrow-minded thinking of the Communist Party and the villagers, and they long to break free from their restrictive environment. Their relationship with the Little Seamstress becomes a metaphor for their desire to escape and pursue a more open, creative life.

The film is beautifully shot, with breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside. The performances by the three lead actors are excellent, particularly Xun Zhou as the Little Seamstress. Her transformation from a naive, uneducated peasant to a thoughtful, intelligent young woman is heartwarming and inspiring.

The themes of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress are universal and timeless. It is a story about the power of literature to transform lives, and the importance of intellectual freedom in the face of oppression. It is also a coming-of-age tale, as Ma and Luo move from childhood to adulthood through their relationship with the Little Seamstress.

Overall, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a touching, thought-provoking film that will stay with viewers long after watching. It is a testament to the power of art to inspire, educate, and change lives.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a 2002 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 65.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
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Where to Watch Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    2002
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
    English
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (4,512)
  • Metascore
    65