Dam Street | 2007
A clumsy teenaged love affair gets Yun pregnant at the age of sixteen, and what at first is only a nuisance that she can't get rid of soon becomes a mortal sin hushed away. Yun has violated China's rigid morals and stigmatized herself for life. Away from prying doctors' eyes, her mother induces labour and takes care of the shameful secret. At twenty-six, Yun is trained as a beautiful Sichuan Opera performer, but resigned to singing in a crass local musical troupe. Her pregnancy is apparently forgotten, but she is still an object of scrutiny, an errant element in a perfectly constructed society and the target of derision for the people in her town. The men she has to please and entertain are abusive and manipulative, but then she meets ten-year-old Xiao-yong, one of her mother's students, who is precociously interested in protecting her. There is a strange emotion he feels but can't articulate. One more mature would call it "love".