Dir.: Wang Xiaoshuai | China, France 2011 | 110 min
One year before the death of Mao and the Cultural Revolution, a young boy is growing up in a village in southwestern China. He stands in front of the daily militaristic workout at school wearing a new white shirt that his mother has bought for him with an entire year's worth of ration coupons. And on the whole he perceives this repressive era in Chinese history like a child who has never experienced anything else, and for whom life is still just an adventure, no matter if he lives under political oppression or not. During a journey through the forest, he meets a desperate and badly injured young man, who has killed someone else in the village. Now the police is on his heels: is it political or banal and personal? '11 Flowers' is a brilliantly made film with a fascinating view of the era. It quite memorably uses children as its vantage point, but it is not a children's film. The film is entertaining, moving and focuses closely on its story and on how rich, full of promises and varied life seems when it isn't seen through the dogmatic eyes of an adult.