Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress will be the first film in the Williams Lake Film Club’s regular series starting Tuesday evening.
Rather than on Thursday evenings films will be shown on Tuesday evenings this year due to the great number of events that normally take place on Thursdays.
The films will continue to be held in the Gibraltar Room starting at 7 p.m. with the back door opening at 6:30 p.m.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a film from China written and directed by Dai Sijie.
Although this film takes us back to the years of 1971-1974 when two bourgeois, well-educated young men from the city Luo and Ma, have been ordered to attend a Maoist pre-education camp run by peasants in the mountains, this is one of the most charming and poetic films I have seen in a while.
The drama, based on the filmmaker’s autobiographical novel, pays tribute to the power of fiction to change a person’s life.
Dai Sijie has also fashioned a tender love story filled with magical moments, and some unexpected humour and playfulness. The cinematography is spectacular.
Luo is a handsome 18-year-old whose father, a dentist, has been labeled as a traitor for once giving a filling to Chiang Kai-shek, a lover of capitalism.
Ma is a violinist.
When his instrument is discovered, the peasants pass it around in a circle, thinking it a toy. When the party chief learns that the violin is for making music, he orders Ma to play something.
He plays Mozart and tells him the piece is called Mozart is Thinking of Chairman Mao.
Labour in this camp is often harsh and terrifying, but their friendship, their love for music and literature, and their love for the little Chinese seamstress pull them through.
It really is a gem of a film with an unexpected ending which pulls you right into the present.
Before the regular film we will show a 20-minute documentary prepared by the people of Slave Lake, Alberta called Wildfire — May 2011.