Girl from Hunan / Xiāngnǔ xiāoxiāo

Girl from Hunan /  Xiāngnǔ xiāoxiāo

Dir: Xie Fei,U Lan / China / 110 / Mandarin / 1986

A Girl from Hunan tells the story of a willful young girl (initially played by Lin Qing and played as an adult by Naren Hua) who, at the start of the film, is about to enter into an arranged marriage with a two-year-old child, Chun Guan. Xiao Xiao, the girl in question, is only twelve. Left by her uncle in this remote village, Xiao Xiao is expected to be less of a wife than a mother to her new husband and lives under the domineering control of her mother-in-law. Now sixteen, Xiao Xiao catches the eye of a farmhand, Hua Gou (played by Deng Xiaoguang). She lets herself be seduced by him and soon finds herself pregnant. Knowing that the traditional village still executes women for adultery, Xiao Xiao is desperate to abort the baby but fails to accomplish her goal.
With her pregnancy clear, Xiao Xiao faces the wrath of her mother-in-law, only to be saved by the appeal of her young husband, who has grown to love his wife, though perhaps more as a mother-figure than a spouse. When Xiao Xiao’s child, a boy, is born, her mother-in-law begins the process of marrying off the child to yet another adolescent girl.


Naren Hua as Xiao Xiao (adult)
Deng Xiaoguang as Hua Gou
Lin Qing as Xiao Xiao (child)
Yu Zhang as Chun Guan
Ni Meiling as Chun Guan’s mother
Zeng Peng as Young Chun Guan


Produced by Don Yaping
Written by Zhang Xian
Short story: Shen Congwen
Music by Ye Xiaogang
Cinematography – Fu Jingsheng
Edited by Zhang Lanfong
Production Company – Beijing Youth Film Studio