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Shun Li and the Poet

Shun Li and the Poet

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  • Thu 14 Nov ’13, 3:30pm
  • Sat 16 Nov ’13, 8:30pm
  • Sat 23 Nov ’13, 8:30pm
  • Mon 25 Nov ’13, 8:30pm


MTG Century Theatre, 9 Herschell Street, Napier


All Ages


MTG Hawkes's Bay

Shun Li and the Poet
Io sono Li
2011 Drama Italian with English subtitles 103 mins

2012 David di Donatello Awards: Winner - Best Actress; 2011 Venice Film Festival: Winner - FEDIC Award, Lina Mangiacapre Prize, Lanterna Magica Award; 2011 BFI London Film Festival: Winner - Satyajit Ray Award

In Andrea Segre’s poignant debut feature, Shun Li is a softly spoken young Chinese immigrant. Her Chinese broker transfers her from a clothing factory in the outskirts of Rome to a new job in the small fishing community of Chioggia, in the Venetian lagoon - a city with a strong territorial identity in a region that has transformed from a land of emigration to one of immigration.

There she manages a bar and serves the fishermen regulars in halting Italian. Among these is Bepi, nicknamed “The Poet”, a Slav, who has just retired from a long fishing career. The discovery of a shared love of poetry and similar family backgrounds tied to the sea forges a bond between the two foreigners. Soon the all too familiar forces of racial prejudice and paranoia disrupt their friendship.

This unusual and compelling first feature, beautifully filmed by Luca Bigazzi and displaying features of Segre’s documentary style, was deservedly selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Venice Film Festival. The remarkable central performance by Zhao Tao as Li is both restrained and heartfelt and won her the much coveted Donatello award. This is a touching festival highlight.

“refreshingly naturalistic” – BFI London Film Festival

Director: Andrea Segre
Starring: Tao Zhao, Rade Serbedzija, Marco Paolini
Rating: M contains violence, sexual references & offensive language
Distribution: Palace Films

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