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Wed 15 Aug 2012, 5:30pm
Wed 15 Aug 2012, 8:00pm

Where: Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Related Artists:

Listed by: Ross Stevenson

Directed by Lui Hao
China, 2004, 100mins, PG

The film follows a peasant couple, Zhao Deshan and his wife Xiuzhi, living in rural Yunnan province near Zhaotong in southern China. Their lives are thrown into upheaval when the local mayor “rewards” them with two foreign sheep donated by a former villager, now an official in Beijing.

The couple is then tasked with breeding the sheep for their wool and to bring prosperity to their small community. Much to their chagrin, the sheep do not take to their new environment and the couple are forced into ever more ingenious ways of making the sheep appear greater than they really are.

“In this mild-mannered satire of hierarchal life in rural China, a dutiful peasant and his wife are rewarded for their generosity to the community by being entrusted with the raising of two foreign sheep of a superior breed.

The honour becomes a chore when the sheep react badly to the harsh climate and refuse to eat the inferior local grass. The couple's custodial duties are further complicated by instructions to breed the reluctant sheep.

In the most amusing scene, they cover the animals' yellowing coats with white powder to make them appear healthy for an illustrated newspaper article.

You can read this modest little comedy as either an uplifting fable about teamwork and good citizenship or as a spoof of a frightened society's blind obedience to authority.” – Stephen Holden, NY Times, 23/5/2005

When director Liu was asked about what films he likes watching he replied, “Film people like to watch art films, but I didn't watch many art films during my three years studying in the Film Academy. I watched a lot of films from Hong Kong and Hollywood. Art films are more concerned with philosophy, but one can't learn how to make a movie from philosophy. I learned my basic knowledge of filmmaking from Hong Kong and Hollywood films. But that doesn't mean my films are just like Hong Kong and Hollywood films. I have my own ideas and style to convey, but I make my films to be understood by everyone.”

Did you know?
In 1995, as his interest in film grew, Liu, now in his mid-20s, decided to apply to the Beijing Film Academy. Though his application was accepted, the Academy refused to allow him to start, stating that 27 was simply too old. Undeterred, Liu raised ¥25,000 from banks to make a short Beijing Opera music video which went on to win a prize in Shanghai. With his name on the map, Liu was allowed to enter the 1997 incoming class of the Beijing Film Academy.

Chinese Cinema screens with the support of the Confucius Institute.

Screenings 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.

Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

Restaurants to book near PNFS: Two Great Sheep (Hao da yei dui yang)