By Meredith Brody
You can be assured of seeing at least one well-crafted, thought-provoking movie a week if you put the San Francisco Film Society’s Sundance Kabuki offering on your cultural calendar. This week at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema, they’ve programmed Blind Mountain from China, a moving and beautifully-shot story about a college student who’s drugged and sold as a bride – a virtual sex slave -- to a hardscrabble rural family in a isolated mountain village.
The surroundings are idyllic, but turn sinister as she repeatedly tries to escape her fate. Set in the recent past (the early 90s), stories like this are still being played out today, far from the economic and social changes that are sweeping the country and highlighted by the upcoming Beijing Olympics. This 2007 festival favorite played at Un Certain Regard at Cannes, followed by others too numerous to list. In April of this year, Blind Mountain was awarded the Council of Europe Film Award, for a film that raises public awareness and interest in human rights issues and promotes a better understanding of their significance. Plus the lead actress, Huang Lu, cast straight out of the Beijing Film Academy before graduation, is as lovely as the setting. Looking good while doing good!