The Chinese Seamstress

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The Chinese Seamstress


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Moderate (Grades 4-6)
2 minutes
Modern classical music
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This piece was inspired by the wonderful, breathtaking mysterious scenery as well as the storyline of the film ’’Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress". Originally, a semi-autobiographical novel written by Dai Sijie, and published in 2000 in French and in English in 2001. Its original French title is "Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise". Made into a film it premiered at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the story about two young Chinese boys of bourgeois background who are sent to a remote village in Sichuan province for three years of re-education during the Cultural Revolution. They both fall in love with a beautiful local girl, granddaughter of an old tailor and known to everyone as the Little Seamstress. During those years of intellectual oppression, the three find solace and liberation in a collection of banned translated novels by Western authors, among whom their favourite is Balzac. The film explores the themes of youth, love, and freedom in those dark times in China.

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