Review from the Paris Chinese Film Festival: The Widowed Witch

The film, The Widowed Witch is mainly concerning a woman (Er Hao) whose third husband was died in an explosion. After her husband’s death, she gained the power of magic and used this power to do fortune telling. The movie starts with a dream. Er Hao and her third husband (Da Yong) was walking in a snow-covered forest. After Er Hao woke up, she found out she was in the room of her sister’s house. She tried to talk with her sister and brother-in-law and figured out they can not hear her voice. It was because she was paralyzed. She had consciousness but people didn’t know. Her brother-in-law took the advantage of her paralysis. He raped Er Hao. Then the whole story begins… After watching this movie, there are two most impressive parts for me. First one is that Er Hao told Tian Tian how her second husband died. She said her second husband’s death was because the death of their unborn baby. Her husband was too sad to live on and chose to commit suicide. But later the movie told us that her husband died on the way picking frozen pear for her. ( BTW: the frozen pear is really delicious. If you have the chance to try it you won’t forget the taste.) This part makes me feel that Er Hao tried to escape the fact that the death of her husband has direct connection with her. But faced with the truth, she was so weak. Another one is when Er Hao helped a couple get a boy but later she found out this couple sold their two daughters. Er Hao tried to get the information of those two poor girls but people said you are a fortune teller, go figure it out by yourself. Er Hao sited on the snow. There is a group of people dancing seems like they are celebrating something. This strong contrast makes me feel absurd and sad. People are greedy and shameless. No matter how hard Er Hao tried to use her so called magic power to influence people, what she found out was the unfillable desire. To be honest, I don’t recommend you to watch this movie. After the movie, some French people asked their friends whether this movie reflects nowadays Chinese people’s real life. Objectively speaking, yes and no. In some really closed, undeveloped village, people still prefer to have a baby boy. And they trust the fortune teller to treat a illness instead of going to the hospital. But those kinds of villages are so rare. My friends and I all agree that this kind of movie may cause some misunderstanding. I like this movie. It is low-cost, high quality and ironic. It makes us laugh while crying. And the view of north in this movie is beautiful and pure. I was shocked when the editor Cai told us he only use nine days to shoot this movie and the actors are not professional. The story of this movie for me is kind of old-fashioned. This kind of independent film is normal and this one may not be the best one. In the end, here are two films I thought can be more interesting and worth watching. An Elephant Sitting Still(by Hu Bo) and Have a Nice Day(by Liu Jian).

-Danbei Yang

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