Three Sisters (2012) (DVD)
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One of his generation's most important documentary filmmakers, director Wan Bing is at the height of his powers in Three Sisters. The film introduces viewers to 10-year*old YingYing, 6-year-old Zhenzhen and 4-year-old Fenfen, who live alone in Xiyantang, a tiny rural village in the mountains of China's Yunnan province. Their father is away in the city; their mother left the family long ago. The girls help their grandfather or aunt in exchange for meals. They spend their days at grueling tasks: herding sheep, goats and pigs, seaching for firewood, collecting dung. Games are few and far between. The eldest, Yingyin, is her sisters' primary caretaker, shouldering responsibiltes far beyond her years. Wang's hand- held footage beautifully captures the region's dramatic landscapes and plunging, mountainious scenery in Three Sisters, an essentail part of this international film canon.