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Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl
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What elevates this story above what we have seen many times before is the striking beauty of the Tibetan countryside and the fine characterizations of both Xiu Xiu and Lao Jin. Lao Jin is a "gelding," made fun of by others, a man of quiet disposition who falls in love with his beautiful young charge, but stands aside because of his impotence. Xiu Xiu has an imperial nature natural to favored girls everywhere, be they Japanese "princesses" or American "valley girls," a nature very well depicted by the script and very well acted out by Lu Lu, whose delicate beauty and spicy temperament clash well with Lao Jin's Taoist stoicism. At one point he remarks wisely that "every place is the same," meaning of course that it is what we bring to the place that really matters. But his wisdom is completely lost on the teenaged girl who wants and needs society and all that it has to offer. And so, the underlying "love affair" between the two can never be...except...as it is in the end.Read more ›
"Xiu Xiu" is a character-driven story, and a strong one at that. We learn much about the characters, their motivations and their desires. And we see somewhat indirectly some of the unfortunate consequences of the Cultural Revolution. Yet this is not at all a political story but rather a gentle and touching love story of sorts. I strongly recommend it for those seeking films of a more personal nature rather than the typical Hollywood blockbuster.
My only complaint about the DVD, for those wishing to buy it, is that it is quite a bare-bones DVD. True, the picture quality and sound quality are superb, but there are no extras included on the DVD at all. Nothing, zip. Not even a trailer or filmography. At the very least, Image Entertainment should have persuaded Joan Chen to do a commentary for this film, as it was such a personal endeavour for her. But alas, all we are given is the movie itself. The film itself gets a strong 5 stars, but the lack of anything at all on the DVD brings it down to 4 stars.
Nonetheless, the film is easily one of the best films released in 1999, and I highly recommend it!
This story tells of how a young and innocent girl , Xiu Xiu, was posted onto the said regime. Although she did apply for the posting herself, one must be aware that in those times, under the iron-grip propaganda of Mao, the Chinese population had basically no significant choices and were even discouraged to 'think & conceptualise' as that would be deemed as an insult to the 'perfection' of Mao's communist agenda. Back then, the poor Chinese people had to praise and be in alignment with Mao's theories with almost every breath of their controlled lives.
Xiu Xiu's family had neither political connections nor money to deliver her from her fate. We see a youthful and energetic girl following the regime dutifully and patriotically for a year until she was sent off to live with a mentor from whom she was suppose to learn the ropes of horse herding. Upon later discovery that she might be able to return home as certain governing structure had been dissolved, Xiu Xiu then pinned all hopes to that possibility.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Go to China during the Cultural Revolution. A real masterpiece!Published 7 months ago by David Walker
An amazing unforgettable work - summarized very well in the other reader reviews. The two main characters were both dealt a really bad hand of cards. Read morePublished 12 months ago by KHENSE
This movie is very effective in communicating in a muted way how absolutely painful and unbearable it would be for a child to be taken away, who understands nothing of what is... Read morePublished 20 months ago by vvv
I watched this movie for the first time and lent it to a friend. I moved and it never got returned, so I had to buy another copy. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Yu_Has_Mich
Sad and beautiful movie. I'm a little biased, since I'm going through a sinophile phase, but I'll still say it's a great film. Read morePublished on November 3, 2011 by wei
This is too sad movie. I rented this to see the glimpse of tibet. The movie is about Chinese cultural revolution when millions of young people were sent to remote corner of the... Read morePublished on December 18, 2004 by Sumant Sumant
This film is a complex mix of interwoven metaphors. Even though the main character, a poor teenage girl, trades sex for freedom, this takes place within the context of a society... Read morePublished on November 24, 2004 by Sander Wolff
The two stars go to the director and the actors. It's odd because you know you've just seen a well-acted, well told story but at the same time, it left you with a chasm, a kind of... Read morePublished on November 11, 2003 by E. Laway