Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002) In 1971, in the China of Mao Tse Tung, the two university students Luo (Kun Chen) and Ma (Ye Liu) are sent to a mountain mining village with very ignorant peasants and also a Maoist rehabilitation camp, to be reeducated. Both fall in love for the illiterate granddaughter of the local tailor, called "little seamstress". They become friends, and Luo and Ma steal forbidden books of western literature, and while they read the books and teach the little seamstress, they also tell the story to the community and play classical music in the violin, developing and improving their lives. What a magnificent and beautiful movie is "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress". In a wonderful landscape with stunning scenery, this revolutionary love story about the importance of books to improve the life of people is very believable and I am not sure whether it is based on a true story. The good things first: The acting was commendable with Kun Chen and Ye Liu delightfully light - hearted despite the circumstances, Xun Zhuo playing a simple yet intelligent girl and Shuangbao Wang in his portrayal of the stern, severe Comrade Brigadier. Still, the film falls flat because of slow, plodding scripting, bad dialogue (which could be the fault of the translation in parts) and an overall failure to evoke emotions. The audience never gets the impression that there is love between the two young intellectuals and the seamstress. This may stem from cultural differences, but for me as a western viewer, their relation seems sterile. I enjoyed this movie but it is somewhat overtly sentimental for my taste. This is a fairly enjoyable not too serious movie. I always enjoy looks at other cultures. Three stars four stars depending on your mood. I wish he had played more music.