A touching, sensitive, lyrical tale of 'reactionary' teenage students banished to a remote but exotically beautiful village during the Cultural Revolution, Dai's film of his own semi-autobiographical bestselling novel plods from cliché to worthy cliché as if films like King of the Children had never been made. It's a tale (naturally) of undying friendship, of love (the lads fall for the local tailor's granddaughter, uneducated but sure to blossom thanks to their attention), of art (Western music and literature, especially) overcoming poverty, politics and prejudice, and of bittersweet memories of hard, character-forming times. Not unwatchable, but bereft of anything fresh to say, the film displays the influence of its French funding at every turn.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Dai Sijie, Nadine Perront|