aka Wo 11
Release Date: 9 May 2012
Stars: Wang Jinchun, Wenqing Liu and Jinchun Wang
Quality: 720p HDTV
Release Info: NFO
Subtitle: English Hardsub
It’s 1975, southwest China, a decade after the start of the Cultural Revolution that turned the country upside down. Wang Han, an eleven-year-old boy, lives with his parents and younger sister in a large community courtyard. During the day, the adults work in factories while the children go to school. At night, everyone reminisces about times past. They take comfort in small pleasures: a song by candlelight, a kiss in the dark, a new white shirt. One day while playing by the river, Han encounters a bleeding man, who runs away with the boy’s new shirt. Chasing the man into the woods, Han suddenly finds himself face to face with an accused murderer.
As with all of Wang Xiaoshuai’s films, 11 Flowers is infused with large thematic musings that loom over the story, evoked lovingly through small, unwavering details that mark life’s daily grind. With this latest film, Wang continues his sensitive portrayal of youth and father-son relationships (begun with films like Beijing Bicycle and Shanghai Dreams), but in an even more personal manner: the director was born in the same year and grew up in the same region as his central character, with whom he shares a surname and an interest in painting. Through this mirror vessel, Wang illustrates the complex desires and inner conflicts of a boy standing on the brink of an impending future that he has yet to touch, peeking into a world that is at once inevitable and senseless.