Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Gifts for Her Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Outdoor Deals on DOTD
  • List Price: $26.98
  • You Save: $9.94 (37%)
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Balzac and the Little Chi... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The disc(s) has some light surface scratches. Ex-Rental. The case has some minor wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to Thousands of happy customers.FAST SHIPPING! Ships direct from Amazon. Free shipping on orders over $35! Tracking number provided with every order.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $0.69
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

47 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Nov 29, 2005)
"Please retry"
$11.81 $6.99
"Please retry"
$13.33 $15.93

Best of 2015
This Year's Top Products Shop the Editors' picks at Amazon including Movies, Music, Games, and more. Learn more
$17.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
  • +
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: A Novel
Total price: $26.96
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Breath-taking, funny, erotic and altogether bewitching!" - ELLE MAGAZINE "A jewel of a movie!" - WASHINGTON POST "Sweet, funny, sad and profound!"- SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE "Exquisite! A love song to great literature."- LOS ANGELES TIMES Based on the best-selling novel set during China’s cultural revolution, this acclaimed film is about two young men, university students, who are sent to a remote mountain village for a Maoist re-education, to purge them of their decadent Western education. Amid the back-breaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, the local beauties are the only respite from their miserable life. But none compare to the granddaughter of the region’s tailor. With a secret cache of forbidden books, they set about to woo her.

Special Features

  • Director’s Bio
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Ye Liu, Shuangbao Wang, Zhijun Cong
  • Directors: Sijie Dai
  • Writers: Sijie Dai, Nadine Perront
  • Producers: Bernard Lorain, Lise Fayolle, Pujian Wang, Wang Zhebin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Cantonese, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,381 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2006
Format: DVD
Set against the startling backdrop of China's mountainous regions, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress takes place during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where the government was intent on reeducating those intellectuals, artists and political dissenters. Filmmaker Dai Sijie has created a dreamy memory of hardship and adversity - part familiar Chinese parable, part familiar French romance - in which love of the radiantly beautiful, remote Chinese landscape outlasts bitterness at the Mao era's blinkered commitment to intellectual ignorance.

Two teenage friends, Ma and Luo (the attractive Ye Liu and Kun Chen), toil away in a mountain village, children of disgraced intellectuals. As part of their reeducation, they lug human waste up a mountaintop, push rocks in a mine, and occasionally visit a nearby town to watch North Korean films, which they then act out for their less mobile comrades.

Life for them is pretty boring, and they soon tire of the work, but they're smart enough to know that the whole thing is somewhat farcical, but also smart enough to go along with the program. A new world opens up for them when they discover that another young man sent for re-education has a stash of forbidden books - mostly 19th-century European and Russian novels - hidden in his hut.

They also two fall in love with a young girl (Xun Zhou) from a neighboring village and woo her by reading to her from the forbidden books. The young seamstress shows an instant affinity to Balzac in particular, and as Ma reads her the stories from the 19th century, the girl. the most appealing aspect of the movie is the romantic notion that books can change lives. Luo and Ma's interest seems as much the result of intellectual curiosity as it is an appreciation of Balzac's storytelling abilities.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on January 9, 2006
Format: DVD
The author of the novel is an intellectual who was forced to live in a labor camp from 1971- 1974...the end of the Cultural Revolution. He is also a filmmaker and therefore he filmed his own novel. This combination is rare... so we witness an outstanding visualization of his book. It is a very interesting film with some breathtaking photography and engaging music. It depicts the influence of listening to great literature upon the mind of an impressionable, intelligent girl peasant/seamstress who ultimately needs to explore her options beyond the narrow confines of country life. (Personally, I thought that
the theme of literature's enlivening influence is even better treated in the wonderful book - "Reading Lolita in Tehran"). I could not quite give the movie five stars because there are
more moving Chinese films of the cultural revolution, e.g.
Gong Li in the masterpiece "To Live." Nevertheless, foreign film addicts will not be disappointed when they buy this DVD.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 6, 2006
Format: DVD
Director Dai Sijie whose newest film is similarly titled "The Chinese Botanist's Daughters" directed this beautiful tale. Set against the context of the Cultural Revolution, it nevertheless presents it in a way that does not seem ominous or threatening, perhaps the opposite approach of Gao Xingjian's novel "One Man's Bible." Ziou Xun played the Chinese Seamstress in her 5th film, which included "Beijing Bicycle." Her performance as the naive rural girl whose mind is less concerned with political orthodoxy than having a good time. The two boys sent to the country for re-education are Luo & Ma. Both are played by actors in their first films. Chen Kun as the good looking dentist's son Luo has now also made "The Music Box" (2006). Liu Ye who played Ma, the violinist, has gone on to work with Lou Ye in "Purple Butterfly," "The Foliage," "Jasmine Woman," "The Promise," & "Dark Matter." Both actors convey a range of emotions from loneliness at separation from their families to bonding with each other and falling in love with Ziou Xun. Wang Shurangbao does a nice job as the chief whose tooth gets filled by Luo. Chung Zhijun also does a nice job as the tailor, the Seamstress' grandfather. Fan Qing Yun fills his cameo as the doctor who performs an abortion and then buys Ma's violin. The film was nominated as best Foreign Language film by the Golden Globes in 2002 & the National Board of Review in 2005. The cinematography is gorgeous as the mountain settings, the cave and streams are beautifully photographed. The end underwater sequence seems to let the experience float timelessly. This is an excellent film, not to be missed. Bravo!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Juergen Hesse on February 27, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After traveling in China for 5 weeks and then reading this excellent book, I really could relate to it. Especially after talking to people in China about the effects of the "Cultural Revolution" this book had an excellent inside.

I also recommend the Movie on DVD.

J. Hesse
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tintin on July 19, 2006
Format: DVD
I have seen this movie quite a few times now. It is like a temporary sanctuary shielding me from say the loud-mouthed so-called comedian on TV. No high drama, no yelling and screaming, it is not an epic about the Cultural Revolution (nor is "To Live", though "To Live" tried. You should hit the books or documentaries if you really want to learn about the Cultural Revolution.) With unpretentious acting, breathtaking cinematography, beautiful music and poetic dialogs, this movie is about how civilization's best creations can transcend life.

It is also one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. How often do you get to hear country bumpkins from backwater China quote Balzac, chant "Ursule Mirouet!", and discuss sagebrush branch as a better cure for malaria than willow branch (not to be administered the usual way medicines are, mind you)? The story unfolds like a fable, sometimes surreal, but there is such simplicity to the storytelling and sincerity in the acting, that it feels believable. (It IS semi-biographical after all.) It will make even an old cynic want to read Balzac, Dumas and Kipling, and yearn for something more from life. Truly wonderful.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
This item: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Price: $17.04
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: chinese dvd cantonese, chinese dvds, little dvd foreign, chinese drama movies dvds