Shun LI And The Poet (2012)
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Two outsiders become unlikely friends in this drama from filmmaker Andrea Segre. Shun Li (Zhao Tao) is a thirtysomething single mother from China who has come to Italy in the hope of providing a better life for herself and her son. However, Shun Li has partnered with an unscrupulous employment agency that shifts her from job to job and makes it difficult for her to pay her fees so she can make enough money to bring her son to Italy. She works as a barmaid in a shabby waterfront tavern in the fishing village of Chioggia; there, she meets Bepi (Rade Serbedzija), an exile from Eastern Europe who has a fondness for poetry and pens doggerel verse himself. Shun Li shares with Bepi stories of Qu Yuan, China's most celebrated poet, and the two strike up a friendship that has the potential to become something more. However, the Chioggia natives make it clear that they don't approve of Shun Li and Bepi's budding relationship, especially given their suspicions about her Chinese heritage. Io sono Li (aka Shun Li and the Poet or Li and the Poet) earned Zhao Tao Best Actress honors at the 2012 David di Donatello Awards. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
as Shun Li
as Bepi the Poet
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Critic Reviews for Shun LI And The Poet
The plot is preposterous, offering up not one, but two, saintly females for our hi falutin' delectation.
Shun Li and the Poet actually believes in the inherent decency of strangers. Don't hold that against it.
Francois Couturier's score is overly emphatic in places in tugging at our heartstrings, but the film's gentle humanity is to be cherished.
There is much to savour in this poignant feature by the former documentary-maker Andrea Segre: not least its tough, uncliched view of Venice.
Writer-director Segre gives this sensitive story a nicely understated quality that forces us to identify with the central characters in ways that continually catch us off guard.
The film has a shiveringly lovely melancholic spirit that clings to your skin like wet jeans.
Touching story about the tender friendship between a 60-year-old Yugoslav fisherman and an unmarried Chinese woman working in a local bar.
Segre's film captures the misty elision of land and sea in the Veneto lagoon and how it perfectly expresses the characters' yearning placelessness.
Enjoyable and uplifting, Shun Li and the Poet is an engaging and heart-warming study of an unlikely friendship ...
Shun Li and the Poet is a pensive and slow-burning production that will have you pondering over it for days.
A film of gentle contrasts rather than tub-thumping extremes, Segre striking a tone as languid as the lagoon where events take place.
There is not much happiness in the lives of these two people, but they have each other.
Lyrical, moving saga of a fragile friendship amid cultural alienation and prejudice
A thin but attractively opalescent immigrant study, prioritizing exquisite, atmospheric detail over the bigger picture.
Audience Reviews for Shun LI And The Poet
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