THE CHINESE BOTANIST'S DAUGHTERS (Sijie Dai). 98 minutes. Tuesday (May 22), 9:45 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
See this movie just for the visuals. Set on a verdant jungle island, it tracks Li-Ming (Mylene Jampan), an orphan sent to work for Chinese botanical doctor Chen. He plies his trade with the help of his daughter An (Li Xiaoran), who's shy at first but obviously drawn to the new worker. Soon the two women are getting close in the sauna.
Trouble comes in the person of An's brother, who develops a thing for Li-Ming.
Though set in modern China, the story feels like an ancient tale of herbal medicine and a tyrannical patriarch, depicting the kind of repression you wish were obsolete by now.
This could be one of the most beautiful films at Inside/Out this year.