Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)


Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) (2013)



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Movie Info

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

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Critic Reviews for Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

Segre's film captures the misty elision of land and sea in the Veneto lagoon and how it perfectly expresses the characters' yearning placelessness.

Jun 19, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

There is not much happiness in the lives of these two people, but they have each other.

Nov 1, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A thin but attractively opalescent immigrant study, prioritizing exquisite, atmospheric detail over the bigger picture.

Jul 4, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The plot is preposterous, offering up not one, but two, saintly females for our hi falutin' delectation.

Jun 22, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This is haunting and affecting with visual poetry to spare.

Jun 22, 2013 | Full Review…

Shun Li and the Poet actually believes in the inherent decency of strangers. Don't hold that against it.

Jun 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)


What begins as an honest story soon becomes a frustrating experience, unable to generate enough interest due to the lack of chemistry between the two main characters. Besides, it insists on trying to create some visual and narrative poetry where there is none.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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