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438 Ratings

Three Sisters

San zimei | 三姊妹

Directed by Wang Bing
France, Hong Kong, 2012


Three little sisters, Ying, Zhen, and Fen live alone in a small village in the high mountains of the Yunnan region. The father works in the nearby town and the mother has left long ago. The little girls don’t go to school, spending their days working in the fields or wandering in the village.

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Three Sisters Directed by Wang Bing
Once Yingying’s sisters have left . . . she herself, like her mother in a way, becomes a present absence. It’s a remarkable change that takes place in the film, and I’m very glad that I watched the long version of the film (there is a shorter version called Alone), because that really brings the whole power of this growing loneliness and this changing character of a little girl to the forefront.
December 11, 2017
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Not for the faint of heart or weak of bladder, Wang Bing’s two-and-a-half-hour “Three Sisters” documents extreme poverty in rural China with the compassionate eye and inexhaustible patience of a director whose curiosity about his country’s unfortunates never seems to wane.
May 09, 2013
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Fire burns in the face of Yingying, the dutiful, stoic eldest daughter who yearns to read and write and study, to discover something unattainable in this tiny, remote village. There is fire even in her dirty, white-hooded jacket with the words “Lovely Diary” on the back, a jacket she never takes off throughout the film. She never demands anything, and she barely speaks, yet she is one of the most compelling, most affecting figures in all of documentary cinema.
March 21, 2013
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