China Underground > Magazine > China Magazine > SAN ZIMEI – THREE SISTERS


Three sisters live alone in a small village family house in the high mountains of the Yunnan region.

France, Hong Kong – China, 150′

Their parents are nowhere to be seen. The three little girls spend their days working in the fields or wandering in the village. As their aunt finds it difficult to provide food to the girls, the father returns to the village. He has come to take the girls with him to the city but he then agrees to leave the older one alone under the supervision of her grandfather.

Director’s Statement

San zi mei follows an ordinary poor peasant’s family of four (a father and his three daughters) and their daily lives. We follow the relation between the family members, how in such misery men are capable of adapting themselves in order to survive, how even in the middle of nothing children manage to grow up, how the daily minute things are mountains for those people. When I first met the family about four years ago, I was touched by the incredibly difficult situation in which those kids were growing up. This is why I wanted to testify about the reality of these poor peasants’ life in contemporary China.

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