The Lover

I first saw this film five years ago when my love affair with foreign film began (thanks to Death in Venice.) I just watched it again tonight, and I can’t believe I forgot this one- the level of sexual tension and chemistry between these two is so passionate that it nearly destroys them both. The characters known as “The Young Girl” and “The Chinaman” are in taboo territory because of the big age gap- she is 15 and he is in his late 30s. She is French, and was sent by her family to attend a boarding school in China, and meets the Chinaman, who is the son of a wealthy trading family, when he offers her a ride into town so she doesn’t have to take public transportation. Man… The innocence of these two, and their torrid passion for each other, is mind blowing and incredibly realistic. I cannot get enough of the car ride- look at it. Wow. I think we’ve all had attractions like this at some point in our lives, the kind that sends you reeling by even the slightest touch of their hand and leaves you shaking in its wake. The entire film is an exploration of sexual awakening, and it focuses entirely on that, nothing else. I LOVE this film. It addresses so many taboo subjects- large age gap between the lovers (not to mention the girl is a minor), social class (he’s from a very important family, she’s a student from a financially burdened family), and race (she’s caucasian and French, he is Chinese). The sex scenes are so realistic that some of the critics and the general audience believed they were real and were appalled by that, and that lead the young actors into some tough times after the premiere of the film. This is a prime example of how well the French understand sexuality and love.

By the way, isn’t The Chinaman gorgeous? They both are, really, but him especially.


~ by hln351 on February 28, 2015.

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