Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2005)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Type Feature Film
MPAA Rating None
Runtime 1hr 51mins.
Genres Drama, Adaptation, Romance, Period
Keywords N/A
Status Released
US Release Date
Name Credit Credited as Role Id Sort Order
Fleur Augustin Editor n/a 172 7000001
Nicolas Duchemin Editor n/a 172 7000002
Jean-Marie Dreujou Director of Photography n/a 120780 6000001
Dai Sijie Source Material (from novel) n/a 120793 4000003
Dai Sijie Screenplay n/a 120778 4000002
Berengere Saint-Bezar Editor n/a 172 7000003
Zoe Forget Editor n/a 172 7000004
Tong Huamio Costume Designer n/a 169 13000001
Nicolas Nacgelen Sound n/a 120816 14000001
Cao Jumping Production Designer n/a 164 9000001
Wang Pujian Music n/a 120781 8000001
Alice Godeau Editor n/a 172 7000005
Nadine Perront Screenplay n/a 120778 4000001
Bernard Lorain Executive Producer n/a 174 3000004
Chung Zhi Jun Actor The Old Tailor 1 1000005
Wang Hong Wei Actor Four-eyes 1 1000006
Xun Zhou Actor Little Chinese Seamstress 1 1000004
Chen Kun Actor Luo 1 1000003
Wang Suang Bao Actor The Village Chief 1 1000002
Ge You Actor n/a 1 1000007
Xia Yu Actor n/a 1 1000008
Wang Zhebin Producer n/a 3 3000003
Philippe Rousselet Producer n/a 3 3000002
Lise Fayolle Producer n/a 3 3000001
Dai Sijie Director n/a 2 2000001
Liu Ye Actor Ma 1 1000001
In the early 1970's during the later stages of China's "Cultural Revolution," two city-bred teenage best friends, Luo and Ma, are sent to a backward mountainous region for Maoist re-education. Sons of "reactionary intellectuals," the boys are required to perform arduous manual labor along with locals while under the supervision of the zealous village headman. Still they manage to find diversions. They save Ma's violin from destruction by claiming a Mozart lieder is actually a celebration of Chairman Mao. Because of their literacy, the headman sends them to a larger town to watch imported Albanian and North Korean communist melodramas, and then report back to the culture-starved locals. They embroider the stodgy plots with their own inventions and the villagers are entranced. During one of these trips, the two see and fall in love with the local beauty, the daughter of the most renowned tailor in the region. They never know her name, referring to her only as "the Little Seamstress," but she captivates them with her innocence and sensuality. When they discover a hidden suitcase filled with banned books by Western writers, mostly French-- Flaubert, Dumas and Balzac among them--they read these works to the Little Seamstress for hours on end in a secret meeting place. Thirsting for knowledge of the world beyond, she comes to love, in particular, Balzac and his characters. Eventually, Luo and the seamstress become lovers, but their romance comes to an abrupt end when he is recalled home and she finds herself pregnant. Changed by her "sentimental education," the Little Seamstress ultimately finds the courage to leave her village for wider horizons. In a bittersweet coda, many years later Luo and Ma, beneficiaries of China's economic gains and enjoying considerable professional success, meet and wonder about the Little Seamstress.