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A High Sky Summer

In a remote village in northwest China that a film crew is using as a location, a movie-mad youngster tries to get hired as an actor in "A High Sky Summer," an attractively made kidpic that reps an increasingly familiar, and cliched, genre of Chinese cinema. But film is easy to take, and there's a winning performance from young Wei Zhilin.

With:
With: Wei Zhilin, Cheng Taisheng, Li Wanquan.

In a remote village in northwest China that a film crew is using as a location, a movie-mad youngster tries to get hired as an actor in “A High Sky Summer,” an attractively made kidpic that reps an increasingly familiar, and cliched, genre of Chinese cinema. But film is easy to take, and there’s a winning performance from young Wei Zhilin as the ambitious youngster; TV slots and even further fest outings aren’t out of the question.

Wang Shouxian (Wei) is the 13-year-old protagonist who discovers a film company is looking for a boy his age for a film being made in his village, and he’s determined to get the role. His headmaster is equally determined that Wang, who is not the best of students, not be chosen. Auditioning in a scene in which his character has to cry, Wang rubs red pepper into his eyes and lands the role, but the headmaster vetoes it. Film concludes with a sequence in which young hero searches in vain for the departed film crew. Sweet, sentimental pic is beautifully made and hits all the right marks. Title literally translates as “Wang Shouxian’s Summer.”

A High Sky Summer

China

Production: A China Film Group Corp. production. (International sales: China Film Group Corp., Beijing.) Produced by Han Sanping, Huang Jun. Directed by Li Jixian. Screenplay, Xiao Jiang, Li Honghe.

Crew: Camera (color), Liu Je; editor, Zhou Xinxia; music, An Wei; production designer, Li Hong. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 14, 2002. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Wei Zhilin, Cheng Taisheng, Li Wanquan.

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