Nothing much happens in the small village in southern China until Kwok Yun (She Ke) tells of her experience – or fantasy? – during one hot and humid afternoon. While she is dizzily resting under a tree (after a clandestine love-making session with the married school headmaster) something bright catches her eye and she faints. When she wakes up, she finds an injured foreigner (Udo Kier) next to her. She dresses his wounds and rushes off for help. On her return the stranger has gone. Kwok files a report with the local village chief, the feisty Ms Chang, who decides that an UFO must have landed. The authorities from the city are called in, interviewing the naïve and illiterate villagers.
Nobody confirms anything like a flying saucer; nevertheless the site is declared a tourist attraction. Kwok receives a medal and is declared a “model citizen”. Bulldozers destroy the fields; a monument is built and road signs show tourist groups the way. By now, the future of the village has been decided. Everyone is embracing the Party-approved capitalism. The peasants are mindlessly chanting commercial advertisements in unison with political slogans. Kwok Yun’s world exists no longer. Will she have the strength to create a new one for herself?
Xiaolu Guos’ second feature film (after She a Chinese) is an adaptation of her own novel. It is a reflection of the social upheaval in the chaotic contemporary Chinese society told with irony and a dash of surrealism. (BS)