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SHE, A CHINESE
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Huang Lu, Wei Yibo, Geoffrey Hutchings, Chris Ryman, Liu Hsinyi
Director: Xiaolu Guo
Countries: UK / China
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
UK: 98 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong sexual violence and sex
UK Release Date: 26 February 2010 (Limited Release)
Official UK website
The debut feature of filmmaker and novelist Xiaolu Guo (writer of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers) tells the story of Mei (Huang Lu), a Chinese woman raised in a remote village. Bored with her life she heads of the nearest big city, Chongqing in search for a different life. However, life there doesn't quite turn out as she expected it. She gets fired from her factory job, she falls in love with Spikey (Wei Yibo), a hit man whose own past soon catches up with him.
On the spur of the moment she travels to England and marries an elderly man, Mr Hunt (Geoffrey Hutchings). But Mei's new married life leaves her alienated and bored, trapped in the silence of Mr Hunt's house. Out of sheer frustration Mei ends up having an affair with Rachid (Chris Ryman), an Indian immigrant who runs a local take away restaurant and moves in with him. But their relationship doesn't last long as Rachid decides to return to his own country, leaving Mei pregnant and alone, facing an uncertain future.
Exploring themes of alienation and personal identity that Xiaolu's readers will recognise from her books, this is an intense and emotional story told with real style and sincerity. Helping things along is a score from John Parish.