Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Year of the Fish

Cinderella is a tale that can be harder to understand in today's culture. A girl who does drudge work all day is seen as passive compared to the American Dream, and her salvation comes through basically winning a beauty pageant.

So when I saw Surlalune's post on the movie Year of the Fish, I was intrigued. The movie sets the story in modern Chinatown. Ye Xian came to America to work for her mother's cousin in what she thought was a beauty shop, but is a massage parlor for adult customers. When Ye Xian is not willing to do sexual favors for the customers, she is ridiculed and forced to do the dirty work, scrubbing toilets, cooking, shopping, etc. All the essential elements of the tale, but made very believable, even in a modern setting.

I saw the movie and was not disappointed. I was even more glad to see that other elements of the ancient Chinese tale were incorporated in-including the whole saga with the fish and its bones-only in this movie they were given to her by Auntie Yaga-Asian relative of Baba Yaga? The romance was a bit too love-at-first-sight, but still really sweet. And Cinderella is usually the most attacked for being passive, but this Ye Xian shows true courage. An excellent movie for the mature viewer (there is swearing and sexual content).

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