XIU XIU: THE SENT-DOWN GIRL | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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XIU XIU: THE SENT-DOWN GIRL

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As part of its Crossing Borders Film Festival, CMU's Modern Languages Department will screen this 1998 directorial debut from actress Joan Chen. During China's Cultural Revolution, a city teen-ager Xiu Xiu (Lu Lu) is sent to the grasslands of Tibet for "re-education." She's apprenticed to Lao Jin (Lopsang), a gentle horseman, but longs to return to her home -- at any cost. Her youthful naiveté and the dishonest system combine for tragic consequences. Chen, who adapted a short story by Yan Geling, is successful using this simple narrative of a single girl to expose and critique the folly of China's ill-conceived program that displaced millions of children. The film is beautifully shot amid gorgeous scenery, and offers fine performances by the two leads. Chen's message might have been stronger still had she not succumbed to less credible melodrama in the final scenes. The film was shot in China, but was later banned from distribution there because of its sexual and political content. In Mandarin with subtitles. Three cameras

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