Electric Shadows | Chicago Reader

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Three troubled characters find solace at the movies in this nostalgic 2004 family saga that traverses 30 years of tumultuous Chinese history. During the Cultural Revolution a lovely aspiring actress (Jiang Yihong of Devils on the Doorstep) is abandoned by her lover after she becomes pregnant. As the years pass, she and her daughter are scorned by narrow-minded comrades in their rural province, but their fortunes improve when the mother marries the local projectionist. The daughter and the abused, movie-mad young boy she befriends have an unexpected reunion much later in modern-day Beijing, but by then so many bleak events have transpired that the film's hopeful ending is too much of a stretch. Xiao Jiang directed. In Mandarin with subtitles. 95 min.

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