Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl

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Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl
Xiu Xiu.jpg
Directed by Joan Chen
Produced by Alice Chen
Joan Chen
Written by Geling Yan
Joan Chen
Starring Li Xiaolu
Zheng Qian
Music by Johnny Chen
Distributed by Good Machine
Release dates February 1998 (Berlin Film Festival)
Running time 99 minutes (theatrical)
Country China
Language Mandarin

Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl (Chinese: 天浴; pinyin: Tiān Yù) is a 1998 Chinese film directed by actress Joan Chen based during the 1970s in People's Republic of China, during the Cultural Revolution's Down to the Countryside Movement. This drama film is the directorial debut of Chen.[1] The film stars Li Xiaolu (Chinese: 李小璐) and Lopsang (Chinese: 洛桑群培).


Xiu Xiu (Chinese: 秀秀), a 15-year-old girl living in the city of Chengdu, moves out to study horses in the countryside with a nomadic Tibetan. She is told that after six months, she will return to take charge of her all-girl cavalry unit. However she quickly discovers that she is not returning. She learns lessons about life while struggling against corrupt government officials who manipulate her hopes and body. Her only friend is the eunuch horseman, Lao Jin.



Although the U.S. distributor claimed the film was banned in China for sexual and political content, the script was actually approved by the Chinese government. The film was only banned after the filmmakers decided not to wait for permits before shooting in Tibet (such permits are required for a film to receive official approval).[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Golden Horse Awards
  • 1998: won for Best Director (Joan Chen)
  • 1998: won for Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Medium (Joan Chen)
  • 1998: won for Best Actress (Li Xiaolu)
  • 1998: won for Best Actor (LupSang)
48th Berlin International Film Festival
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • 1998: won the Jury Award
Paris Film Festival
  • 1999: won the Special Jury Prize
  • 1999: nominated for the Grand Prize
  • 1999: won Best Actress (Li Xiaolu)
Mons International Festival of Love Films
  • 1999: won the Grand Prize
National Board of Review
  • 1999: won the International Freedom Award
Independent Spirit Awards
  • 2000: nominated for Best First Feature Over $500,000 (John Chen, shared with co-producer Alice Chan Wai-Chung)


  1. ^ "Wettbewerb/In Competition". Moving Pictures, Berlinale Extra (Berlin): 37. 11–22 February 1998. 
  2. ^ Tian yu on IMDb
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1998 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 

External links[edit]