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Chinese Love Saga Bags Golden Bear
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Tuya's Marriage, an unconventional Chinese love story about a herdswoman and her two husbands, has won the Golden Bear prize for best picture at the 57th Berlin Film Festival.

Yu Nan plays the lead role in Tuya's Marriage, which looks at the impact of China's boom on centuries of tradition.

Directed by Wang Quan'an, the film paints a touching portrait of a female Mongolian herder who attempts to resist the economic pressures to move from the barren plains of her homeland in northern China to the city.

The only professional actor in the film is Yu Nan. The other parts were played by real herdsmen and women.

The film tells the story of Tuya and her disabled husband, Bater, who decide to divorce after she falls ill so that she can go in search of a new husband capable of looking after the whole family.

She is persuaded to move from her pastures in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the city but subsequently is forced to decide whether to choose love over the survival of her own family.

Wang said that the film was an attempt to explore the massive environmental, cultural and social effects of China's rapid economic growth on ordinary people in Inner Mongolia, where the way of life has remained the same for centuries.

"I think that it is important, particularly in this time when the economy is booming, to ponder and reflect on what we're losing," he said. "Once the culture and tradition are lost, we'll never be able to get them back."

Tuya's Marriage beat 21 other competition entries to the prize, including Robert de Niro's much-hailed Hollywood CIA drama The Good Shepherd, starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, and Steven Soderbergh's The Good German starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, a black and white drama set in post-war Berlin.

(China Daily via The Guardian February 27, 2007)


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