AWFJ Presents: ELECTRIC SHADOWS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Set during China’s Cultural Revolution, female director Xiao Jiang’s 2004 feature debut, Electric Shadows, is akin to Italy’s 1989’s Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso as it focuses on how a makeshift outdoor theater brings together a village of cinema lovers. When we first meet film addict Mao (Xia Yu), he is footloose and fancy free. He earns a living by toting water jugs from place to place on his bike. He especially loves action movies, as an image of a Blade Runner poster with Harrison Ford’s face materializes on screen. But by accident, he tumbles into a wall of bricks and is conked on the head with a brick by an angry woman named Ling-Ling (Qi Zhongyang). When she gets arrested, she gives Mao the keys to her apartment and tells him to feed her fish.

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