"This is the type of story that rarely gets told in big budget Hollywood. It involves an seven-year-old orphan, Xiao Hua, who runs away from her brutal foster parents in the middle of the night. She runs so far that she is in another village when she collapses. No one in this poor village wants her,and one by one each walk away from her giving excuses for why they can't take her. But a kindly old man steps forth and volunteers to take care of the orphan, much to his son and his son's wife's sugrin.They are trying to have a child of their own, and little Xiao Hua is now in the way. The daughter-in-law tries desperately to get rid of the child. She is brutal to her and attempts several times to take her away, but the kindly grandfather stops her. The little ophan holds no contempt for anyone and only wants her new family to love her. Not only does she succeed at this, but also wins the love and respect of everyone in her new village. The scenes of the child begging not to be turned away are heart wretching, and will require the most jaded viewer to reach for a box of keenex.And in the end secrets are revieled, and you see how the old man is rewarded beyond riches for the kindness he bestows upon her. Hollywood would never make something like this. It has no sex, no profanity, no child being molested. It shows the daughter-in-law in a virolent manner, and the viewer can slowly see her change in attitude toward little Xiao Hua because there is actually charcter development in the movie instead of cardboard figures or stereotypes. The movie print is not on par with todays USA releases, but it is acceptable enough. You won't notice it anyway, because the story is so involving. It will stay with you...and I mean you really will find yourself thinking about it...days after you view it. On a side note, I have a daughter who is half Chinese, and she resembles little Xiao Hua in appearance, which caused even more pinure for myself while watching this film."
"Warm Spring": Touching Story about "Little Flower," a 7-Yea
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 02/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Nuan Chun (Warm Spring)" is a small Chinese film directed by Wulan Tana. (This is her feature film debut.) I must say the film would be too melodramatic for some who prefer more restrained storytelling, but still its simple story about a little girl is well told and the acting is all great. And the little girl Xiao Hua is so adorable.
The story, which is set in countryside in China in the late 1980s, begins with a 7-year-old girl Xiao Hua (Yan Zhang) who has just run away from her abusive foster parents to a nearby village. The villagers just don't care, however, and none of them offers her a shelter until a kind old man (Tian Chengren) decides to take her home. But the old man's daughter-in-law doesn't want her and her indifferent husband doesn't want to interfere.
Certainly the melodramatic story about Xiao Hua (meaning "Little Flower") involving several attempts of the daughter-in-law trying to get rid of her may sound too good to be true. But like the heroine of Zhang Yimou's acclaimed "Not One Less," Xiao Hua wins the love and respect from everybody with pure determination and good will and this is the part most appealing in the film.
"Warm Spring" turned out a surprise hit in mainland China in 2003. It is reported that this low-budget film (2,000,000 Chinese yuan = about 280,000 US $) made a huge success in the domestic box-office and the film eventually garnered box-office revenue ten times as much as its budget. I am not surprised to hear that after watching the film with a touching story."
A tear jerker from China
Robert L. Fastner | Saint Paul, MN USA | 02/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is somewhat like "Heidi" in that there is a sweet cheerful orphan and a "grandpa". From beginning to end you are rooting for her. Initially, they spurned her but grandpa takes her in when she is found exhausted and abused. One by one, everyone in town falls in love with her. The ending is a total meltdown of happiness. The Chinese countryside is beautifully shot, making you wonder why anyone would want to move to the city, but these people are all dirt poor. The movie is a message that sometimes an apparent burden can bring a great reward. Have your hanky at the ready as you will definitely get emotionally involved. My only mild criticism is with the subtitles which uses words like "adapted" instead of "adopted" and such. Still, this is a good heart warming movie."
Adam Lane | 05/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beware of anybody who can watch this movie without being moved. That would be a red flag (no pun intended, by the way).
This movie will appeal to anyone who hopes for a world where compassion, generosity, and simple human kindness can heal and transform.
A little gem of a movie.
W. Zittrich | Southern California | 10/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very enjoyable family movie. My wife and I have watched this several times and shown it to friends. The women tend to cry although I wouldn't call this a sad movie. The little girl and the old man are a joy to behold. Theirs is a simple life in a world far removed from western civilization. She is looking for love and he, at considerable cost to himself, is willing to provide it. As the story transpires we see the effect this has on all those around. A life affirming story. Highly recommended."