Dai Sijie’s first feature film. Filmed in the south of France with a mostly non-professional cast. As Dai’s famous film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, the story of Niu-peng is about the Cultural revolution, the re-education programs, and about music.
An awestruck 13-year-old boy is arrested by Mao’s cultural police for propagating obscene records during the Cultural Revolution. (He composed a love song for a 13-year-old girl.) Isolated in mountain corridors, the young boy befriends another teenage “terrorist” and an elderly Buddhist monk. He imparts on them the need to preserve their family structures and create a greater sense of self. “A deft and oddly lighthearted tribute to the traditions and the spirit of freedom that survived the Cultural Revolution” (Caryn James, The New York Times).
Language(s):Shanghainese, Cantonese, Mandarin