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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Words (Without Quotes) : 1200
Daj Sijie’s novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, and the film of the same title, are both set against the historical background of the Great Cultural Revolution of China. This campaign, which ran from 1966 to 1976 by Chairman Mao, aimed to re-educate young intellectuals by the poor peasants of China. Specifically, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress follows the story of two teenage boys, both sons of reactionary parents, as they are sent to be re-educated in the rough mountains of China. The 2002 film adaption of the original novel sacrificed numerous harsh realities to be of greater appeal to a wider audience, in particular western and urban viewers. The setting of the film disregarded and beautified what was described in the novel so that audiences could better relate to it to their surroundings. The portrayal of the character ‘Four Eyes’ changes from an introverted boy who is indifferent to revolution in the novel, through to a revolutionary poster-boy in the film. This change allows western and urban audiences to see the revolution in a more positive light. The importance of the forbidden novels was not stressed throughout the film, and the influence it held over characters and the village were evident in both texts. The overall experience of the two boys in the novel was portrayed as being rough and character-building. However, the film changes this to the boys looking back on their time in the mountains with a nostalgic manner so it will make the story more of a ‘feel-good’ story. Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress has been adapted from the original novel by Daj Sijie to the 2002 film of the same title, changes key components so it will appeal more to western and urban audiences.
In the film adaptation, the specific Chinese experience is further westernised through the beautification of the setting. The...
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