Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Xiao cai feng movie based on the Sijie Dai novel.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Script





We're the Red Guards

of Chairman Mao



Who come from the steppes

to Tiananmen Square



Our red flags are like a fiery sea



Our revolutionary songs

echo up into the skies



Our Great Helmsman Chairman Mao



leads us on



We're the Red Guards

of Chairman Mao



Who come from the steppes

to Tiananmen Square



Our red flags are like a fiery sea



Our revolutionary songs

echo up into the skies



Our Great Helmsman Chairman Mao



leads us on



Chairman Mao



Red sun of our hearts



The people of the steppes

give you all their love



Lead us ever further onward



I first climbed these steps in       



Luo and I had walked two days



from the nearest town

to the Phoenix mountains



the place of our re-education



Is that your suitcase?



Yes, chief



They say your father

is a reactionary dentist



Guilty of what?



Treating an enemy of the people

the former local governor



And before       he fitted a tooth

for that scum, Chiang Kai Shek



What's that?



A cookbook



You're holding it upside-down



What's so funny, you idiots?



Can you read?



Go on, read!



Show us!



Chief, you know I can't read



Read that to us



    grams of chicken breast



    shelled walnuts

   grams of starch



    cl of yellow wine



Egg whites. A pinch of salt



Wash the chicken



Dice it up. Place it in a bowl



If we don't have walnuts

can we use peanuts?



Revolutionary peasants

will never be corrupted



by a filthy bourgeois chicken!



Chairman Mao sent you here



to be re-educated



not to have reactionary banquets



On our mountain, you'll work hard



and you'll eat cabbage and corn!



What do those drawings mean?



I'm called Ma Jianling

They stand for my name



What's that, chief?



A toy



Just only a toy



It's silly. What's it for?



To amuse bourgeois kids



Into the fire!



It's not a toy, chief

It's a musical instrument



It's called a violin



It has a pretty sound



Ma plays it very well



He'll show you



Go ahead



I play badly, Chief



I told you to play. So play!



You could play a Mozart sonata

for the chief?



What's a sonata?






A mountain song



What's its name?



It's not really a song



I asked you for its name!



It's... Mozart



Mozart is thinking of Chairman Mao



Mozart is always thinking

of Chairman Mao!






Go on, play!



Chief told you to start



To think it's in this dump



We may spend our whole lives



The very idea gives me

cold shudders



For ages the mountain people



had geared their activities

to the sun



But this custom was shattered



by the way we had to rise



Get to work! You're all loafers!



Look at this liquid shit



Yours at home is no better



The only Westerner

to enter this area



was in      



A French missionary, Father Michel



In his travel diary, he wrote:



After two months on the road



On  th August in Chinese Calendar



I reached the Tianquan district

and Phoenix Mountains



where copper is mined

to min coins



The Chinese Annals say: in      A. D



that was exactly the Han Dynasty



a Han emperor gave this mountain



to his lover, a chief eunuch

in the palace



It was the first official mention



of homosexuality in China



What the hell's going on?



You can't even push a basket!



Know what you spilled?



The hard work

of revolutionary peasants!



Pick it up! Hurry!



Can I ask you a question?

I'm listening






You know the hot springs

at Three Scissors?






They say the local girls



go to wash themselves there



A real little paradise!



Beyond the Quick Sands

if you head on westward



there's a small path

between two cliffs



They're almost naked!



They're so pretty!



I can hardly see them

I'll go the other side






I'll go that way. I think it's better



Go get help

instead of laughing!



I can't stop myself!



Hey! You're lucky



We're nice girls



We won't denounce you



Or else you'd end up

in the Security Office!



They break the legs of voyeurs



Aren't you ashamed? The nerve!



Ma, pull me out!



Don't panic, I'm coming!



Go that way. You can get down



The tailor and his granddaughter!



We heard music, so we came to see



You're so clean



You doesn't look like a local girl



Recognize her?



She's dazzling!



This area is famous



for its pretty girls



Know what that is?



It's called a violin



I've already seen some



but never heard one



And the song?



Don't know



It's Mozart is thinking

of Chairman Mao"



I hear your father killed the worms

In a big chief's teeth



Killed what?



The worms in his teeth



Why are you laughing?



Here we don't use fancy words



That's not it



I think the expression's funny



I live on the other side



behind the Eye in the Sky



I'm the Little Seamstress



What's your name?



I'm Luo... Luo Min



Is the Eye in the Sky far from here?



About   miles



Is it yours?



It's Luo's



How does the rooster inside move?



It's a real rooster



It sings every morning



Ma! Come see



Did you notice her white teeth?






The Little Seamstress



It's funny



I don't care to know her real name



Little Seamstress" suits her so well



But she is very primitive!



What time is it?



Where's the alarm clock?



Why you open it?



You always make trouble



You break it

even you don't know what it is



I lost a piece



I'll repay you for your clock



Leave it alone, Luo



We'll fix it at our place



It's nice to be from the city



You know lots of things



Knowing how to sew is better



Life here is not much fun



Often, when I go to cut wood



I see airplanes passing above me



and I wonder what the world

is like elsewhere



I made them myself



You know how to read?



My mother was the only

schoolteacher on this mountain



but she died before she could teach me



There's a piece missing



I'll teach you to read



No. I don't have time



You shouldn't refuse



Think it over before saying no



We'll talk about it another day



My grandfather will soon be back

You must leave



Let's go



I like your little planes



Will you give me one?



Why ask me? You don't have to



Just take one. Anyone



So? Everything's fine?









Then let's go



Give him a big hand! Welcome!



You know him?



It's Four-Eyes



I thank the local leadership



for letting me speak



I'm from a family of



reactionary intellectuals



My father is a criticized writer



my mother is a poet



In the   months I've been among you



I've learnt to farm, to plant, to plow



the buffaloes scared me



Now, with my whip



I make the most stubborn obey



That's a fine example



Look at him!



He even wears straw sandals



like revolutionary peasants



He deserves our applause!



All of you from reactionary families

being re-educated



should follow his example






He's saying that for us



I hate him



Our policy focus on content



but not only content



We often say



of       children from bad families



only     only



will be able to return to the city



I have a relative

who's a projectionist in town



Each month,

he shows a revolutionary film



He has to show Selling Flowers Girls

several days later



Will you come and eat

with us Sunday?



We pay for it



No. I have things to do



You blushed



Are you being introduced



to a young man Sunday?



Don't talk nonsense!



What's the problem?



Bring him along



We'll eat together



That day I'm going to the hot springs



with my girlfriends



Our re-educated have progressed



I'll give them a chance to prove it



The day after tomorrow

in town they're showing



a North Korean film



They'll go see it



then tell it to us



It's a political mission



You're lucky!



Look, the tailor!



Tailors are always haughty

of themselves



It rained

It's slippery for an old man like me



Grandfather, do us a favor



  days later



we're narrating a film in a village



It's a Korean Film



Tell your granddaughter to come



The violin!



Long line the Communist Party!



Long live the Chairman Mao's

triumphant thoughts!



Look, peaches!



How much are they?

  cents a lb. Want some?



I'm starving!



We've walked far



We're going to a movie!



Hurry! We're going, too



Smells good!



You eat first!



Go on!



It's hot! ...Delicious!



Who wants flowers?

Buy my flowers



Go elsewhere! There are people

over there. Go away!



Korea is one of the world's

coldest countries



No matter how the little

Flower-seller's please



no one would enter the frozen lake



to get the snails needed to

heal her mother



That day



whirlwinds of snow fall on Pyonyang



The snow made by the boys

is prettier than real snow



Look! It's rice skins



The flower seller makes a hole in the ice



and jumps into the water. Let's imagine



So cold. Once, twice, three times



She spends the night in the icy water



until it stops snowing



She has found   snails



She runs excitedly home



she opens the door...



What's she waiting for?



Tell us the rest! Tell us!

Go on, continue!



Excuse me. I'm thinking of my mother



Her mother lies on the bed



A sunbeam illuminates her face



An emaciated face which reflects

from years of misery



It is tiny, like a child's face



She has already left this world



As the film ends



we hear a voice saying:



There's a proverb a sincere heart

can make a stone blossom



Yet this girl's heart was truly sincere



Will you tell me a story?



A foreign film



All right. From which country?



France? Spain? Canada?



You know any?



I'm joking



How I would know stories

from capitalist countries?



I only know socialist stories



from Korea, the USSR, Albania...



In the      's



there were many books



But I was too young to learn to read yet



When I learnt it



the Revolution came



All the books were burned



I know a re-educated boy who has



forbidden books






Four-Eyes. He told me so



He has a leather suitcase full of

foreign books his father gave him



His father gave him




You even show off on a Sunday!



From afar



you look like a real revolutionary peasant



What a huge change!



Damn buffalo!



Wait! We'll find them!



Damn buffalo!



Calm down, don't be angry



I will kill you



Damn buffalo! I will kill you



Where did it fall?



We found them!



Four-Eyes, come here! We've got them!






Without you, I was lost



I see nothing without glasses

I'm really blind



You're nice. I'm glad to see you



We came to borrow your books



What books?



You forget?



Those you hide in your leather suitcase



That suitcase?



I threw it down a ravine



You didn't?



If you don't believe me



You can search my home



Postman! Any letter for me?






Yes. It's from the capital of our province



We've arrived. You look smart



It's ok



I am coming soon



Go on without me



Tombs aren't my thing






Then we leave



I wait here and roast the

sweet potato for you guys



You want a sweet potato?



You have a city boy's accent



I'm being re-educated. Here?



On Phoenix Mountain






So is my son. You must know him



He wears glasses. Four-Eyes



Soon he'll be going back to town



A Chengdu literary magazine hired him



Luo! Little Seamstress!



Four-Eyes is returning to the city



No more foreign books!



Are you joking?



I just met his mother



She said a magazine hired him



Damn! We're cursed!



What a pity! No more suitcases!



We need an idea



What? I don't know



Let's steal it






Let's steal it



Good meat like this sells for

yuans a lb in the market



Four-Eyes drank blood!



Drunk warm

when you're back in Chengdu



it makes you brave as a red soldier



Did you like buffalo blood?



I'll remember it all my life



Damn buffalo! I got even with that beast



But the price was too high

They cheated us



Smells good!



Is it ready? Yes!



We'll eat well



Eat much more carotene



Four-Eyes! Look at us!



We came to dance for you. For Eyes



Thank you



Are you putting on a show?



The commune lent us the costumes



It's good. Let's sit down to see



Come sit here






We're about to start!



We're the Red Guards of Chairman Mao



Who come from the steppes

to Tiananmen Square



Our seamstress is keeping

the enemy busy



Give me some light



Quick, inside!



Wait! I'll close it



Who come from the steppes

to Tiananmen Square



What's that dance?



We're on horseback



On horseback?

I thought you were on roasters!



Why disturb them?

Do you want to try?



They dance very well



Let's applaud them!



Luo, may be they're here



No, they're not. Light up the bottom



Nothing, either. Careful!



We're the Red Guards of Chairman Mao



Who come from the steppes

to Tiananmen Square



Our red flags are like a fiery sea



Our revolutionary songs

echo up into the skies



Luo, here it is!



Great! We've found it!



And it's not locked!



With these foreign books



I swear I'll transform

the Little Seamstress!



I'll cure her of her ignorance



Go on, open it!



I have cramps



You don't feel well?



I can't stand it



Going back?



Lu X un



Only revolutionary books!

Not a single forbidden novel!



There's even a book

on Chinese medicine



That bastard Four-Eyes!

Too bad, let's take it!



Wait! They're coming back!



My stomach!



It's all the blood you drank



You're right



Sit down. I'll get you a pill



Did you open the suitcase?



No. I didn't touch it



Strange. It's open



Yet I had tied it up



It was Luo and Ma...

They must have come...



to steal my books



Are any missing?



The foreign books are all there

under Lu X un's



No books were lost



That's good






Take this pill. It's for diarrhea



Do you want to vomit?



Don't know?



Try to vomit. You'll feel better

Drink some water



Drink it all



I can't hold out

What is it?



Where are you going?



Wait! Take some paper!



Don't be ashamed in front

of your mother! Take it



It's beautiful! Look at her dress



I've never seen anything like it



Let me see



What's written there?



To combine beauty and intelligence

is so rare



What is it?



Balzac's "Cousin Bette"






I wish I could read

I can only look at the drawings



I can only look at the drawings



Listen to this sentence



then you'll know how good it is



     years,   months and     days ago



Parisians woke up to the sound

of all the bells ringing loudly



And the title of this one!



Just for the title, I already adore it



Where is Paris?



In a country called France



Where is France?



In Europe



Listen to this title:



, by Gogol



And this one, what a name!



by Dostoevski



There's one by Kipling



An Englishman



There's even a Chinese novel:



It's classical Chinese



Too complex for you



It's there! No one comes here



No one comes here



A perfect place to hide the books



Fine. It looks safe



We'll put them here



Luo! Here is better






We'll baptize the place



We'll take them out one by one

Like that



if we get caught



we'll only lose one at a time



The others keep placing here. Alright?






Nearly   AM. Balzac is so gripping!



I'm almost through. Only    pages to go



Call me afterward



I'll read it to the Little Seamstress



Ursule Mirouet



Funny name...



I'm done. Your turn



How was it?



I feel the world has changed



The sky, the stars, the sounds, light



even the smell of pigs

nothing is the same anymore



Ursule Mirouet!



Luo! What's wrong?



What's happened to you?



A moment ago, I had a fever



Now, I'm ice-cold and shivering all over



It's not serious



I'm thinking of my mother



It can't be much



Can you carry me? No problem!



It must be malaria



Stop it! Why would you have malaria?



It's the best thing for malaria!



You have to bear it

if you don't want to die



No! No!



Ma, you stand away from here



Right here



No! I don't want it



Once more



Is it a good cure?



That depends. Not always

The best is a willow branch



Who told you that?



The best is sophora

Sagebrush is good, too



Chief is right



When Zhang's son had malaria



we whipped him

with a branch of sagebrush



It healed him completely



Hey, you men!

The meal's ready. Come eat!



You take over. I'm tired



Strike as hard as you can



If you want to cure him



don't hold back! Hit him hard!



The Little Seamstress



What's wrong with him?



My village wants

to hear you tell the film



He has malaria



He's in no shape to tell a film



Let me do it






Let her do it






You seem much better this morning



My legs are weak but since yesterday



I feel better



I'm doing it



Actually, it's not as good as

when you tell it



If the chief finds out we saw that same

N. Korean film <>



it's no more movies for us



Tonight, we'll tell you



an Albanian film



Albania? Where's that?



Don't you know Albania?



A great friend of China's

Is it a good film?



The best I ever saw



The strongest moment



is a hypnosis session. It's wonderful



Go on! Begin! Encourage him!



The main character in this Albanian film



is called Ursule Mirouet



A very exotic name



Shall we say it together?



Ursule Mirouet!



Ursule Mirouet!



The director is called Balzac!









Damn! I didn't notice the time go by



  PM! The day is over!



Finish! We pack up!



I'm through. Want to try it on?



Come and try it on



Have you started smoking?



When did you get back? Did you eat?



I'm not hungry, I'm annoyed



I was reading to the Little Seamstress



Her grandfather came back:



When he saw the book

his face became white



he yelled at me. Worse



he burned 



The senile fool!



You said it! I hate him!



I never want to see him again



In   min



I want everybody

in Three Willows field!



Damn, I slipped



But the path is so wide!



What are you waiting for?



Do I have to pick you up myself?



You bastard!



This may be the whole difference



natural man from civilized man



Great spiritual enjoyment

serious enjoyment



The savage only has feelings



The civilized man has feelings and ideas



Good old Balzac is right!



Let's see how he analyzes it all



He says:



So, with savages



little impression is made on the brain

is made on the brain



Civilized man used his mind to

control his emotion



I looked for you



We just wanted to take a book



but Luo started reading



Our village women bought

cloth in town



I heard your grandfather said



he will come to our team



and make them clothes this week



The clothes are an excuse

to search our home



Don't talk nonsense!



Tomorrow will be a hard day. Rest up



Come to live at home



The water of your foot-bath

is already hot



You had it last year



It's my turn






but I'll stay here



with the two being re-educated



It's not very comfortable



The door doesn't close

We have no toilet



We have to do our business outside



You won't like it



But I'll have more room to work



Now, I'm going to rest



I'll see you tomorrow



You and I already know each other



Which means I can

speak to you frankly



I'm listening



My granddaughter has changed recently






In what way?



The other day, when I came home...



You know what this is?



An undershirt



No. It's not that



It's something else



Think again A short vest



You like it?



It's beautiful!



It's called a bra



That's what they call it in books



In all of Phoenix Mountain



I'm the first to have one



What's it for?



To enhance your breasts



What are civilized people?



Civilized people means:



The savage only has feelings



The civilized man has feelings and ideas



I was so frightened for her



that my hands shook



Sometimes a book

can affect your whole life




is that what you came to tell me?



You just want to told me about this?



Stop reading her novels



They don't tell the truth



Teach her useful things



Your family has problems



You should think about your future



Learn useful things? In this dump?



You're kidding with me



I'll teach you to sew



To become a tailor?



Yes. To become a tailor



I could teach you the trade



Grandfather, I'm too clumsy



to be a good tailor



Here's the chief. He's back from town



That damn revolutionary dentist!



Only knows how to torture



the poor peasants. Scumbag!



Look at this!



It doesn't look rotten



The idiot made a mistake!



He pulled a good tooth



Where's the rotten one?



I've still got it



It's horribly painful



They say you know lots of stories



Tell me one



This one begins in Marseille



It's the year       



Where is Marseille?



Very far away. It's a French harbor



Why go so far?



Don't you have something nearer?



A story about ghosts or Chinese bandits



I never get tired of those stories



My story is set in Marseille



If you don't like it, good night!



Continue if you want



I'm going to sleep



Bravo! You baited him

Now he's hooked



I am sure he wants to listen



What is your story about?



It's the story of a French sailor



Captain Edmond Dantes



later known as the Count of Monte Cristo



We can use it to make a belt too



Monte Cristo kept us awake



  nights in a row



The old tailor was indefatigable



At night, he listened to me

By day, he worked



Inspired by Dumas



fantasies appeared



on the clothes he created



Little French details suddenly



adorned the clothes of our farm girls



mostly marine symbols



That year



a Mediterranean breeze



blew on our mountain



Jackets like sailor suits



bell-bottom trousers



Dumas would have been surprised



about the dressing of the farm girls



Our farm girls don't know that



Dumas had also described

more refined clothes:



bodices embroidered with fleur-de-lys...



Mercedes's lacy dress



Only the Little Seamstress

knew our closely guarded secret



It's a good thing



you came to help him



Your grandfather

has rings under his eyes



You'll sleep at my place tonight



Here, there's no room for you






Perfume, precious wood

beauty, palaces,



translate the name of this charming place



Champs Elysees

What a pretty name!



It's the finest avenue in Paris



where Monte Cristo



lives in an emperor's palace



Get up! Come with me!



You'll explain this

at the Public Security Office



Explain what? I did nothing wrong



I heard everything



You told reactionary stories



about nobles



who live like emperors



Chief, have a cigarette. Calm down



What Ma told is just a story



The nobleman in question



He is a foreign, not Chinese



In fact, he was a poor sailor



which according to Chairman Mao's



Little Red Book



puts him in the most



revolutionary category



Stop your chatter!



Don't take me for an idiot



Chatter, that's all you bourgeois can do



Come on, follow me!



Chief. I shouldn't have listened to them



I'm also guilty



Listen, Luo, I'm not a bastard



I'll give you a chance



to save your pal



Whatever you want



My rotten tooth is driving me crazy



You're the son of a dentist



With this piece of tin

you'll be able to repair it



Repair a tooth with this?



Where's my granddaughter?



She's asleep. What's matter?



Those re-educated boys need her



I'm too old for such things



Don't move, chief!



I won't move



Here we go!



Don't panic! The tin hasn't melted yet



Shit! You almost killed me!



It's not my fault, chief



I've told you already



You won't sit still



The problem is the speed of the drill



At the hospital



my father has an electric one



Come on!



Just do it in one go!






Start Now? Alight



Don't panic!



I warn you: if you fail



I'll take Ma away!



You move all the time, chief



And the cavity is in a tricky spot

near the gum



May be I can't finish the job



Chief, the best thing is to tie you up



or else you will fall



What? Tie me up?






Me, a chief elected

by the Commune Committee



Tie me up? Are you mad?



Come on, chief! It's too late



It's too late to act that way



A rope!



Chief, have a puff on this

It will put your mouth to sleep



Leave me alone



Ok. Forget it



Stay calm. It's a minor operation



It's a minor operation



Close your eyes



and concentrate...



on the bad tooth



You won't feel anything. Ready?



Ready. No problem



One moment! Is he tied up?






Chief! Now keep still! Here we go!



Very Fast!









Don't move!



It's almost done



Hand me the filling



  I mean, the melted tin



Chief, it's a bit hot



Careful. Keep your mouth wide open



You see, it was nothing



Doctor Luo!



What are you doing here?



I waited for you. Haven't you heard?



Now you're a famous man



What do you mean?



Lots of patients are



waiting for you



They say that thanks to you



the chief's toothache is gone






Come, Doctor Luo



All those people?



Doctor Luo!



It's a golden opportunity. Look!



we can't leave



They've brought eggs



chickens, ducks



The poorest brought some noodles



Don't disappoint them



Wasn't there a medical manual



in Four-Eyes' suitcase?



It'll be handy



My re-education has made me






My literariness






I religiously copied



excerpts from my favourite novels

on my sheepskin coat



I... love... you



Once more






Next sentence



I... love... you






I... love...



Now just say it!



I love you






I love you






I love you, I love you, I love you...



The chief risked his life



to save Mao's portrait!






Chief didn't die eventually



After the mine caved in



the chief spent

more than a month in bed



The village was totally disorganized



and we had a few weeks freedom



For the first time



I felt like composing



I got my inspiration



from an old miller



a connoisseur of bawdy songs



Among friends no cheating



The first glass, bottoms up!



Mountain people

have their little pleasures, too



So, you want to hear a mountain song?



Uh... Yes

Something authentic, rather romantic






Romantic means



Something tells of pretty things

Of love, for instance



In my family, from father to son



we've sung one, in the form of a riddle






Which bird

rises up and up?



Which bird

is like two blades of a knife?



Which bird

dives into the pond of the sky?



Which bird

shakes the brown grass?



The falcon rises up and up



The swallow is like two blades of a knife



The crane dives into the pond of the sky



The briar-cock shakes the brown grass



I understood nothing of your riddle



What word do I have to guess?



You're leaving tomorrow?



You told her?



Not yet



I have to tell you...






I got a telegram



A telegram?



From my parents



My father is in the hospital

It's very serious



Are you going back?



I spoke to the chief



He gave me a two-month leave



Two months? You'll be gone that long?



Maybe less. Where are you going?



If your father



eats a soft turtle



He'll recover fast

and you'll come back sooner



Watch out



Go see her every day



after I've left






She's too pretty



I don't want anyone to steal her



I entrust her to you



To keep tabs on her?



It is not a tab



You'll read her novels. She loves it



Promise me



A snake bit me! It hurts



Get up. Don't worry



It really hurts



Sit down



I'll tighten it to stop the poison



I'll suck it out



You're shaking! It didn't bite you!









Careful! Come back soon



I know



There's something you don't know



Tell me, what's it



Climb on! Come with me!



I can't. Later, you'll know why



I have a problem



Ma, take care of her!



Don't worry



Stop! Stop running!



During Luo's absence



I read to the Little Seamstress



To change from Balzac



I read her 



Charles was surprised

to see how white her nails were



They were shiny, tapered



trimmed like almonds



Yet her hands were not beautiful



not pale enough, perhaps



and a little hard in the fingers



Her good point was her eyes



They were dark, but her long lashes

made them seem black



and she looked at you frankly



with a sort of fearless candor



Just a second. Keep reading. I'll be back



Two places gleaming with silver plate



had been set on a small table



at the foot of a great four-poster



hung with chintz



with pictures of Turks



and a glass on it



Ma, look! Grandfather made it for me



For   weeks



I read her 



While reading, I saw myself



in the husband's role



then as Emma's lovers



The Little Seamstress was my Bovary






Tomorrow, I'll read you some Lu X un



Afterward, you'll think



everyone is



right out of his books



I like Balzac best



His translator is a fine writer



He has an amazing style



I know nothing about style



I like Balzac, I can't help it



Hey, washerwoman!

Stay right there!



Leave our village girls alone!



Get it?



Dumb asshole!



Look at you! Care to wash my panties?



Go on!



Wash my panties!





Let the bastard have it!



He's got a book! Who's that?



A foreigner



It's Karl Marx



Marx has a beard



His portrait's in the commune office



Leave me alone



Maybe it's Stalin



It's Lenin. Look, he's a bit bald



Look, he's a bit bald



I'll kill you, scumbag!



We'll get you!



The inhabitants



calmed down again



Despite the arrival

of the revolutionary army



nothing really changed



I have a problem



The village hooligans?



It has nothing to do with them



This morning, I vomited several times



Are you sick?



I'll read you the rest



I haven't had my period for   months



If he finds out I'm pregnant



my grandfather will kill Luo



What do you plan to do?



The law forbids me

to get married until I'm   



We just turned    



And abortion is illegal



without a marriage certificate



Any way you look at it



I'm sunk



Don't say that. Let me think






It's urgent



The consultations are over



The duty doctor's up there



He's a tall man



Doctor, are you a gynecologist?



Yes. Why?



I'll introduce myself:



I'm the son of Dr Ma Hongbao



of Chengdu hospital



You may know him



I'm here in re-education with my sister



She's pregnant



You're lying

Dr Ma doesn't have a daughter



Doctor, please help us. I beg you



I'll give you a French novel



I'm not lying, about the novel



I copied a passage on my jacket



My poor Christophe



you cannot know

the delights of being free



To feel that



all minds are free



around you



and your soul



even the dunces



is an indescribable pleasure



as if the soul



were swimming



in endless skies



She could never live elsewhere



It's a translation by Fu Lei



I recognize his style



Now he likes your father



he's an enemy of the people



Why are you crying?






I shouldn't



Is it because of your father?



Because I said he



was an enemy of the people?



I don't know



Is it because of Fu Lei



Balzac's translator?



I didn't mean to criticize him



he writes so well



I don't know why I'm crying



You're still young



How old are you?   ?   ?






I'll find a solution



I can't do what you ask me



in this hospital



If anyone found out



it'd be too risky



But I'll find a solution



All clear



There's a problem



He changed tunes



Is it  ?






Written for Lenin. Then what is it?





Then, I'll listen



We have no choice. Be brave



In   minutes, it'll be over

Don't be afraid



What was that scream?



A high note on the violin



For the black swan's entrance



  It's not as good as



I feel like I'm someone else



And more like myself



Ma, have you gone mad?



You must take me home



This is the way into town



Don't worry!



  I had told your grandfather that



we were going to see a new film



Take a rest? Sure



Afraid he'd suspect something



when he saw me?



Not really



I felt we needed a change of scenery



This is for you



Buy something in town

Whatever you want



Where did it come from?



Never mind



Take it and buy what you want



Tell me where it came from



I sold my violin to the doctor



He's a connoisseur

Someone else would've...



You sold your violin! For    yuans!



No. For    yuans



But I kept five of them



to buy a harmonica



of the Heroes brand made in Shanghai



Canned food and liquor



for your birthday



From my parents






Let's wish my Grandfather

had no sick hereafter



Good health



And a long life



I'll play you a tune on the harmonica






There's one more dish



Excuse me



Just eat first



Grandfather, come help me



I'm coming



Do you remember?



You swore



to cure her of her ignorance



You succeeded!



She even has less of an accent



All thanks to us



Reading novels to her was helpful



At the time



we had no idea



what would happen to us



I became a violinist



For the last     years in France



I first played in Lyon and Toulouse



then I formed a quartet in Paris



with friends



to play my favorite composers



Mozart and Beethoven



From China come this news item

about the dam



being built across the Yangtze river



  It will submerge

a whole mountainous area



and turn it into a huge reservoir



to provide electricity



for     million people



The     districts that make up the site



will be wiped off the map

in   separate floodings



to make way for a vast lake

of over     sq. Miles



Iocated     feet above sea-level



A gigantic worksite



Hello, Mi Shen



I'm watching a report on the area



where I was re-educated



My whole youth



Yes, I'll call you later



They are the first wave of refugees

within the area



In this breathtaking landscape



these age-old rock steps



  that link the villages

on Phoenix Mountain to the valley



will soon be drowned

by the Yangtze river



Passengers for Beijing

on Oriental Airways...



May I help you, sir?



You wish to give some perfume?



For what kind of woman?






Hello, lady



From        to       



during my re-education

I lived in this house



Over    years ago



I've been here for     years



Who is your husband?



Zhao Libao



Zhao Libao! The chief's son?



Do you know him?

He went to buy firecrackers



Have a seat



No thanks



Stay and eat with us



I don't want to disturb you



Making toys for the kid?



No, tonight is the Feast of the Spirits



We light up paper boats on the pond



for the souls of our dead



People behind



the Eye in the Sky come, too



Really? The person



I'm looking for may come



Both our villages are being moved



because of the dam



We leave in a month



It's the last time



we'll send out boats for our dead



Do you live



behind the Eye in the Sky?



Yes, so what do you want?



I'm looking for the little seamstress

of your village



A female



This is our little seamstress



I'm looking for someone else



The one I'm thinking of

probably didn't come



Have you found her?



Not yet



You should look at the names written



on the paper boats






those who don't come



have their names



written down by others






Come on



This is my wife









Say Hello to uncle






Your son






you're a big shot now

at the Institute of Dental Medicine



He's a professor with tenure

and supervisor of theses



He's a national authority



I'll be a soccer player



In what team?



The Sichuan team



Two of the re-educated lived here



You remember?



It was so long ago!



Of the two, one was very handsome



What was he called again?



Ma something...



He drew a horse

to write his name



No, it was...






Right! Luo






who weren't very brave



But great storytellers



I remember that!

They told us films and



we cried like babies



Look at that!



It still works

They made quality goods, in those days



It's    minutes late, chief



Are you sure?



I'm sure. I have a Swiss watch



It's  :   PM



It's like me, getting old






There's the tooth we filled!

He still has it



No. Ours was a premolar



Shall we go on?



Which bird

rises up and up?



Which bird

is like two blades of a knife?



Which bird

dives into the pond of the sky?



Which bird

shakes the brown grass?



I remember that



it was a riddle



but I never found the answer



You want to know it? I'll tell you



You must recognize that place



The tailor died



Our Book Grotto!



It sounds as if people are talking inside

I thought I heard voices



When I was filming



It scared me. It really did



Who was it?



It was our voices that



we left over    years ago









She's gone!



Gone where?



To try her luck in a big city



She said she wanted a new life



She left, just like that!



To look for a new life



Didn't you say anything?



I did. I told her that if she left



I never wanted to see her again

But in vain



She's very stubborn



When did it happen?



A while ago



Wait for me!



Luo, you sure this way won't be longer?



That way will be much longer



Why did you cut your hair?



I felt like it



Who bought you those sneakers?



Ma did



I decided to leave



Who changed you?






If you leave...



those books by Balzac...



I won't read them to you anymore



Look at me! Look at me!

Have you made up your mind?



You've already decided



I love you so much

and you were leaving without a word



Take care of my grandfather



Say goodbye to Ma for me

Take care of yourself



In town, I'll be fine



Did she leave?



Because of Balzac






She says he taught her one thing:



a woman's beauty is a priceless treasure



In       I searched for her



I was told me she was working

in Shenzhen



I went there



It seems she had left for Hong Kong



You loved her



I know even you never say it



You loved her too



Yes, maybe



Only each of us loved her

in his own way


Special help by SergeiK