11 Flowers

11 Flowers
11 Flowers
11 Flowers
11 Flowers
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Wo 11

“An absorbing coming-of-age drama… balancing a momentous historical context with a stirring evocation of childhood.” — Justin Chang, Variety

Year: 2011
Country: China, France
Running time: 110 mins
Censor Rating: M - nudity

Producers: Wang Xiaoshuai, Isabelle Glachant, Didar Domehri, Lü Dong, Laurent Baudens, Gaël Nouaille
Screenplay: Wang Xiaoshuai, Lao Ni
Photography: Dong Jinsong
Editor: Nelly Quettier
Music: Marc Perrone
In Mandarin and Shanghainese, with English subtitles

With: Liu Wenqing (Wang Han), Wang Jingchun (father), Yan Ni (mother), Zhang Kexuan (Louse), Zhong Guo Liuxing (Mouse), Lou Yihao (Wei Jun), Mo Shiyi (Jue Hong), Wang Ziyi (the murderer), Qiao Renliang (brother of Wei Jun), Yu Yue (school teacher), Zhao Shiqi (sister of Wang Han), Cao Shiping (father of Jue Hong)

Festivals: Toronto, San Sebastián, Pusan 2011; Rotterdam 2012

An archetypal tale of boyhood misadventure illuminates a vividly specific time and place in director Wang Xiaoshuai’s moving recollection of his own childhood. It’s 1975, the Cultural Revolution is in its final flush, and 11-year-old Wang Han and his family have been relocated to Guizhou province where his father, an artist and intellectual, is consigned to factory work. His mother struggles to furnish a civilised upbringing for her two children despite the rudimentary conditions. Like most boys or girls of his age Han wants to fit in, have fun – and make some sense of an adult world that’s governed by repression and prohibition. An encounter with a teenage fugitive brings the restrictions of the era into dramatic focus.

Superbly shot, the film evokes its rough village setting amidst natural splendour with palpable realism. In a film teeming with spirited children, newcomer Liu Wenqing in the principal role wavers unerringly between mischief and gravity. — BG 


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