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I Am Not Madame Bovary

I Am Not Madame Bovary

Sep. 29, 2016 China128 Min.
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9 1,558 votes

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Li Xuelian, a woman from the countryside is falsely accused by her husband of having an affair. To defend herself, Li moves from her small town to the big city until she reached the capital.

I Am Not Madame Bovary
I Am Not Madame Bovary
Original title我不是潘金莲
IMDb Rating7.0 894 votes
TMDb Rating8 6 votes

(3) comments

  • bobliptonNovember 26, 2016Reply

    Good Satire

    Bingbing Fan is on a quest for justice. She and her husband got a
    divorce so they could get a better apartment, but after the divorce, he
    married someone else. So she wants the divorce overturned, so they can
    be married again, whereupon she will sue for a divorce.

    This confuses the local judiciary, the police department and the entire
    civil government up to the level of provincial governor — goodness
    knows, it confused me — and gets a review at the national level in
    Beijing, where the decisions are sustained. This happens for ten years
    in a row, while judges, majors and even governors lose their jobs,
    because this crazy woman cannot be stopped.

    It’s a fine satire of the effects of one determined person on a massive
    bureaucracy, as various people try to deal with her by varying means.
    While I found several stretches a bit slow, perhaps this is because in
    the details of general and particular points to make fun of, the
    particular points of Chinese government elude me. Even with that in
    mind, there are lots of good laughs, and some interesting playing
    around with mattes: the provincial scenes are shown through a circular
    matte, showing off the squarish architecture, and the Beijing scenes
    are shown through a small, rectangular matte, showing off the round
    archways. I think this is supposed to emphasize the difference way that
    local and national governments look at things. If so, it is a very nice

  • Paul Magne HaakonsenApril 28, 2017Reply


    It is no secret that I enjoy Asian cinema tremendously, and when I got
    the chance to watch ”I Am Not Madame Bovary”, I naturally jumped at it.
    I had no idea what this movie was about, nor did I know who was
    starring in it.

    I managed to sit through 31 minutes into this ordeal before I just gave
    up out of sheer and utter boredom. The storyline never really kicked up
    into any gear that had any kind of appeal to it.

    And furthermore, the movie is presented in an unfathomably horrible
    round frame presentation. And it was a major nuisance to watch that on
    the screen. And it was definitely a big part of why I just gave up on
    the movie. Why director Xiaogang Feng opted for this round frame
    presentation is something that just eludes me.

    The acting in the movie was adequate from what I managed to witness
    throughout the 31 minutes I managed to sit through.

    I have no intention of returning to watch the rest of ”I Am Not Madame
    Bovary” (aka ”Wo bu shi Pan Jin Lian”) solely because of the boredom
    that it instilled in me and because of the annoying round frame

  • PipAndSqueakMay 27, 2017Reply

    Betrayal and injustice hides a bigger loss

    Cinematography is absolutely stunning in this, justly lengthy,
    portrayal of a woman’s quest to gain justice for a wrong, multiplied
    several times, by uncaring bureaucracy. It is not until the end that we
    discover exactly why this woman is determined to revoke and repeat a
    divorce that everyone else insists is valid. She is cast as the
    indecent woman, a Madam Bovary, but she most definitely is not. She’s
    not mad either, which is what you and all the other characters in the
    film are lead to believe. It takes patience to uncover the small piece
    of missing information that makes sense of all. Patience is richly
    rewarded in this thoughtful and closely observed film – almost to the
    extent of forensic examination through a microscope.

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