Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Poster for Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Autumn 2003 Main series

Sunday, November 16, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 16, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, November 17, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated G · 1h 56m
China / France

In 1971 China, in the lingering grip of the cultural revolution, two university students, Luo and Ma, are sent to a mountain mining village as part of their reeducation duty to purge them of their classical western oriented education. Amid the backbreaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, the two boys find that music, and the presence of the beautiful local young women are the only pleasant things in their miserable life. However, none compare to the young seamstress granddaughter of the local tailor. Stealing a departing student’s secret cache of forbidden books of classic western literature such as the works of Honore de Balzac, they set about to woo her and teach her things she had never imagined. In doing so, they start a journey that would profoundly change her perspective on her world and teach the boys about the power of literature and their own ability to change their world in truly revolutionary ways.

“A delightful fable about the enduring value of literature.” – Susan Walker, The Toronto Star

“A poignant lyricism runs through Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress that transforms this story about love and culture into a cinematic poem.” – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

“Beautifully shot, delicately scored and powered by a set of heartfelt performances…” – Chris Wiegand, Boxoffice Magazine

“A beautiful paean to a time long past.” – Jamie Russell, BBCi Films