Shun Li and the Poet (English Subtitled) 2013 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(17) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD

Shun Li works in a textile factory near Rome; slowly paying off the broker that brought her from China to Italy; while saving money so she can bring her young son to join her. She is suddenly transferred to work as a bartender at a pub in a small town along the Venetian Lagoon. The pub is the hangout of the local fishermen; including Bepi; a handsome old Slav immigrant nicknamed "The Poet." A tender; delicate friendship grows between Shun Li and Bepi. But gossip soon threatens their innocent relationship; a bond that had once transcended two very different; yet not at all distant cultures.

Rade Serbedzija, Tao Zhao
1 hour 38 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Shun Li and the Poet (English Subtitled)

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Andrea Segre
Starring Rade Serbedzija, Tao Zhao
Supporting actors Marco Paolini, Roberto Citran, Giuseppe Battiston, Giordano Bacci, Spartaco Mainardi, Zhong Cheng, Wang Yuan, Amleto Voltolina, Andrea Pennacchi, Guo Qiang Xu, Sara Perini, Federico Hu, Hi Zhijian, Ni Jamin
Studio Film Movement
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
This beautiful filmed movie is slow paced but so eloquent.
K. Groh
Shun Li and the Poet tells of a beautiful, innocent friendship of an elderly Slav immigrant and a Chinese girl whose paths cross in Italy.
As the film progresses, it becomes clear the director built this film carefully and with intent.
Daniel G. Lebryk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2012
Format: DVD
Let me state upfront that I am a long-time fan of the Film Movement library of indie and foreign movies, so much so that I finally gave in and started a subscription to their DVD of the Month club earlier this year. This movie is the November, 2012 release in that on-going series.

"Shun Li and the Poet" (2011 release from Italy; original title "Io sono Li"; 98 min.) brings the story of Shun Li, a migrant laborer from China now working in textiles in Rome, away from her family, most importantly her 8 yr. old son. One day, Li is informed by her (Chinese) superiors (for whom Li is just a pawn in a bigger game of money-making) that she is being transferred to Chioggia, a lagoon village near Venice, to run a cafe/pub they have just bought. The place is mostly frequented by local fishermen, among them being Bepi, himself an immigrant 30 years earlier from Yugoslavia. Li and Bepi strike a friendship, and not long after, both the local fishermen and Li's Chinese superiors do not like what is happening. Will Li get reunited with her young son? Will Bepi and Li overcome the resitance around them? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of ocmments: yes, the movie is a relationship study, and a very rich one, but the movie also brings us a study of how 2 cultures interact, seemingly as different as they are (or are they?). Beware, this is not a movie for anyone in a hurry, as the pace is slow, and frankly exquisite at that, I loved it. The scenery of the movie, set nearby Venice, is eye-candy throughout. Kudos to the lead actors, as they bring the characters of Li and Bepi just beautifully. Kudos also to the Itlaian director Andrea Segre, who brings this tale in an original and refreshing way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kit Cat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18, 2013
Format: DVD
No one on earth can understand an immigrant better than another immigrant. A truism for sure but which has seldom been illustrated so well as in "Io sono Li" (Li and the Poet), the first fiction film of Italian documentary maker Andrea Segre.

Immigration is embodied here by two complementary figures, Shun Li and Bepi.

Shun Li is a young Chinese woman who has succeeded in emigrating to Italy, without her son (whom she sorely misses) but with a debt to pay back to the illegal network that "helped" her to get there.

Bepi, on the other hand, is an old retired fisherman and amateur poet who left Yugoslavia for the little laguna town of Chioggia thirty-five years before.

Both will meet in the osteria (bar-restaurant) where Li works as a replacement barmaid and of which Bepi is a regular and a touching if difficult relationship will develop between them.

That is all there is to this film in terms of narrative, but "Io sono Li" does not need a strong plot to manage to exist. This delicate gem actually delivers much more than its story : a fine description of a rarely shown little town in the Venetian Lagoon, an attack against illegal emigration network, a criticism of intolerance and, best of all, the sensitive portrait of two engaging loners wonderfully played by Tao Zhao (the muse of director Jia Zhangke) and Rade Serbedzija (the Croatian actor who played the bio-chemical expert in "Mission Impossible: II).

When you leave the theater you understand "Io sono Li" is a real achievement.

It has all the virtues of a documentary without being dryly factual.

It is moving, even very moving as the film comes to its close, but without resorting to cheap tear-jerking tricks.

It is an involved work but its commitment is discreet and remains in the background

To make a long story short, 'Io sono Li' is a remarkable first feature that should not be missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2013
Format: DVD
Film Movement continues to bring to our attention treasures of cinematic art that we might not otherwise see. IL SONO LI (SHUN LI AND THE POET) is one of those rare gems of a movie that in a very gentle, quiet, simple fashion tells a story that in some way connects us all. Written and directed by Andrea Segre it gives notice of a major new light in cinema and we can only hope the success of this film will encourage him to create more in this genre.

Shun Li (Zhao Tao) works in a textile factory in the outskirts of Rome to enable her to get her papers that allow her eight-year-old son to come to Italy. She is part of the large Chinese organization that makes money off cheap labor in another country to keep the immigrants in a near slave like contract. She is suddenly transferred to Chioggia, a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon, to work as a bartender in a café pub. She rooms with another girl in similar circumstances. Bepi (Rade Serbedzija), an older Yugoslavian fisherman, nicknamed the Poet by his friends, has been a regular at that little pub for years: he left Yugoslavia at the time of the overthrow of Tito. Shun Li and Bepi are two lonely souls far away from homeland. Their encounter is a quiet almost poetic escape from solitude, a silent dialogue between cultures that are different, yet not more distant. They become close friends, but their friendship upsets both the Chinese and local communities, who interfere with this new voyage, and after confrontations and threats and fears, Shun Li returns to the factories until something beautiful happens and she returns to share this with her friend - a moment that is as touching in its surprise and tenderness as any on film.
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