Last night, I saw Lian ai zhong de Bao Bei, or "Baober in Love" directed by Shaohong Li. It was a shocking, emotional and amazing love story set in Beijing. The movie captures the stark contrast of the rich and ultra-modern with the poor and traditional parts of the city. Having just spent a few days wandering from ultra-modern buildings to streets with bombed out buildings and meeting some of the young and rich in Beijing, the movie seemed to capture the strange cultural situation that people must be facing in China right now with the explosive growth in the economy. The love story is extremely painful and I think many of my peers had a hard time with it, but I thought the intensity set a tone that I think represents the whiplash the culture must be going through.
The movie reminded me a bit of one of my other favorite films, Swallowtail Butterfly, which is also a story of a young girl raised by hookers in a multicultural/chanpon underground part of Tokyo.
If you liked either one of these films, I would recommend the other.