Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl

0
0
Subscribe to Lu Lu alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 16th November 2000

Distributed by: Stratosphere Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Xiaolu Li as Wenxiu, Lopsang as Lao Jin, Zheng Qian as Li Chuanbei, Jie Gao as Mother, Qianqian Li as Sister, Lü Yue as Father, Qian Qiao as Chen Li, Cheng Jiang as Rider A, Xiaoyu Yang as Girl, Xuejun Gu as Rider B, Huri as Holligan, Zhizhung Lik as Headquarter's Chief, Kun Zhang as Assistant, Shijin Li as Jeep Driver, Dong Jia as Yak Herder A, Yu Wang as Yak Herder B (as Wang Yue), Qiang Gao as Peddler, Xuelan Cao as Honey Dealer, Wenyuan Qin as Motorcycle Man, Xiaoying Tan as Tractor Man, Lu Zhong as Belt Man, Wenqi Hu as Janitor, Yayu Li as Nurse A, Min Du as Nurse B, Jiong Cao as Three Toes, Dashui Jia as Patient A, Chen Yu as Patient B, Luoyong Wang as Narrator (voice), Xiaolin Yu as Jeep Driver (voice)

Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl Movie Review


"Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl" may seem on thesurface like a purely political document. It is a certainly a condemnationof Chinese government's Cultural Youth Revolution policy that took teenagersaway from their homes in the 1960s and '70s and assigned them to practicalservitude in remote regions of the country.

But this tragic Everygirl allegory of a child "sentdown" to learn a practical trade for the good of the People is sopersonal and affecting, and told with so much heart, that even someonecompletely ignorant of those policies (color me guilty) can become enrapturedby the plight of young Wen Xiu.

Played by Lu Lu, a beautiful and sincere 15-year-old discoveredby actress-turned-director JoanChen, Xiu Xiu (as she is called by her friends)is a giddy, girlish, city-dweller whose bright eyes and sunshine smileare dampened when she is stripped from her family by this government programthat has long since outlived its usefulness, and delivered to a provincialcountryside to learn cavalry.

She finds herself sharing a tattered army surplus tenton a remote prairie hillside with a reclusive, weather-beaten Tibetan herdernamed Lao Jin (film rookie Lopsang) and quickly becomes miserable, scaredand lonely. Even though she is told she will be allowed to return aftersix months, the film follows her gradual loss of faith and innocence asmonths, then a couple years, go by.

Descending gradually, into devistating martyrdom, the oncehappy-go-lucky and sinless Xiu Xiu (pronounced shoh-shoh) becomes disillusioned,eventually turning to prostitution, thinking, in her naivete, that givingherself to the right military passerby to her modest tent on the Tibetanprairie might beget a pass back to her family.

Meanwhile, gentle, pensive and devoted Lao Jin -- who atfirst regards Xiu Xiu as a selfish, silly child -- wants desperately torescue the girl from the terrible path she's put herself on. But he isa bystander by nature and doesn't have the fortitude to do so. The besthe can muster are an few acts of defiance (he burns the shoes of an armyofficer while the officer defiles the girl).

Somehow one of them must find a way for her to escape thisdetrimental life. But redeption is not Xiu Xiu's fate.

Adapted for the screen by Chen (best known for "TwinPeaks") and her close friend (and biographer) Yan Geling from a shortstory Geling wrote for a contest in Taiwan (she won), "Xiu Xiu"is clearly a labor of love.

Taking to direction beautifully, Chen nourishes every frameof the film with an eye for breathtaking, panoramic photography (idyllichillsides of flowers; grey, storm-prone skies that drive home Xiu Xiu'sisolation) and a passionate knack for culling understated and deeply affectingperformances. She shot the picture on the sneak in Shanghai and Tibet,and subsequently she and the film have been banned from the country whereshe grew up during the era depicted in the film (she had friends who were"sent down" while she was trained as an actress).

Someday, when China sheds its autocratic, oppressive formof government, "Xiu Xiu" will likely be seen there as a mythicalarchetype of this period in the nation's history. But right now, for Westernaudiences, it serves as a moving and accomplished glimpse into a closedculture and one of the tolls that culture has taken on its people.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Lu Lu alerts

Comments

Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl Rating

" OK "

Advertisement

More Lu Lu

Lana Del Rey - I Can Fly (Official Audio) Video

The official audio track for Lana Del Rey's 'I Can Fly' has been released. The track is due to play over the end credits of...

Lana Del Rey - Big Eyes (Official Audio) Video

Lana Del Rey has released the official audio for her song, ‘Big Eyes’ – the title track for Tim Burton’s upcoming film, ‘Big Eyes’. On...

First Aid Kit - Walk Unafraid Video

First Aid Kit cover R.E.M.'s 'Walk Unafraid' for the soundtrack to Reese Witherspoon's forthcoming wilderness drama 'Wild', in which she portrays a real life author...

TV On The Radio - Lazerray Video

TV On The Radio released their fifth studio album 'Seeds' in November 2014 - their first release on Harvest Records - and now the band...

Advertisement

Pusha T - Lunch Money Video

Ahead of the release of his second studio album 'King Push' on December 23rd 2014, a collaboration with Adidas, Pusha T unveils a video for...

She And Him - Teach Me Tonight [Audio] Video

'Teach Me Tonight' is a cover of the song popularly sung by The DeCastro Sisters, which appears on She and Him's fifth studio album 'Classics';...

Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie (Dave Matthias Remix) [Audio] Video

The Dave Matthias remix of Gwen Stefani's new single 'Baby Don't Lie' has now been unveiled ahead of her third studio album. It is her...

She And Him - Would You Like To Take a Walk? [Audio] Video

She and Him cover 'Would You Like To Take A Walk?' from the Broadway musical 'Sweet and Low' on their latest album 'Classics', which they...

Advertisement