An archetypal tale of an 11-year-old village boy’s misadventures illuminates director Wang Xiaoshuai’s moving recollection of his own childhood during the Cultural Revolution. “A stirring evocation of childhood.” — Variety
Screened as part of NZIFF 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
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE