11-year-old Wang lives with his family in a remote village in China. Life is tough, but they make the most of what little they have. When Wang is selected to lead his school’s daily gymnastics, his teacher recommends that he wear a new shirt, which forces his family to make a great sacrifice. Soon after, Wang encounters a wounded man on the run and their fates are intertwined.
I saw this film as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival 2012. I never imagined that a story as experienced by an 11 year old, could be so compelling. We’ve read a lot about the Cultural Revolution in China, half a century ago, where “intellectuals” (in the broadest sense of the word) were treated badly, or worse. This film lasted nearly 2 hours, but this time was well spent. I saw only very few slow moments, where I felt the need to move on. But the large majority has the necessary drive and keeps our attention.
Family life, incomplete families, rationing, etcetera is shown very nearby. The harsh regime has a higher purpose in mind, and does not care much about individuals. The latter word was even not allowed to exist; at that time it was almost the worst you could say about someone to be an individualist. I gave the maximum score for the audience award when leaving the theater.
Director: Xiaoshuai Wang
Writers: Ni Lao, Lao Ni (screenplay)
Stars: Jingchun Wang, Wenqing Liu, Guo Liuxing Zhong
Country: China | France
Language: Mandarin | Shanghainese
Release Date: 9 May 2012 (France)
Also Known As: 11 Flowers
Filming Locations: Wansheng, Chongqing, China
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/avc1/mp41)
File size : 1.92 GiB
Duration : 1 h 55 min
Overall bit rate : 2 383 kb/s