One of China's foremost Sixth Generation directors, Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, In Love We Trust) tells a striking, autobiographical coming-of-age tale set in the final days of China's Cultural Revolution in his new film 11 Flowers.
Eleven-year-old Wang Han lives with his family in a remote village in Guizhou province. Life is tough, but they make the most of what little they have. When Wang is selected to lead his school through their daily gymnastic regiment, his teacher recommends that he wear a clean, new shirt in honor of this important position - a request that forces his family to make a great sacrifice. But one afternoon, soon after Wang is given the precious shirt, he encounters a desperate, wounded man, who takes it from him. The man is on the run, wanted by the authorities for murder. In no time the fates of Wang and the fugitive are intertwined.
Beautifully performed by a troupe of child actors, and vividly creating a sense of time and place, 11 Flowers is a delicate and moving film about growing up in a time of great upheaval.
Writer / Director Wang Xiaoshuai graduated from the Beijing Film Academy. He wrote and directed his first feature, The Days, about the last days of a deteriorating relationship between two artists in Beijing. The film was initially met with acclaim but soon after blacklisted and banned in China. In 1995, he directed Frozen, a look at the Beijing avant-garde art world. The same year, he directed A Vietnamese Girl, which tells the story of two rural migrants - a naive young boy and a small-time con man - who abduct, and then fall in love with, a female bar singer. The film was rejected by the censorship committee and required 3 years of re-editing and a change of title (So Close to Paradise) before being approved. In 1998, it was selected for Un Certain Regard at the Cannes. His fifth feature, Beijing Bicycle, won the Silver Bear at Berlin in 2001, and its two leading male actors shared the Best Young Actor Prize. In 2003, Drifters was screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. In 2005, Shanghai Dreams won the Jury Price in Cannes. In 2008, In Love We Trust won the Silver Bear for best screenplay in Berlin. In 2010, Chongqing Blues was in competition at Cannes.