Asia Society Recap: Little Moth

Little Moth (dir. Peng Tao)

Continuing our recap of the Asia Society series “China’s Past, Present and Future on Film,” here is an excerpt from a full-length review by Joe Bendel of Peng Tao’s heartbreaking feature Little Moth:

In China’s less prosperous provinces, people often become commodities. It is not just white slavery either. Evidently, there is also a market for physically pitiable children for professional panhandling rings. Such a fate befalls one eleven year old girl in Peng Tao’sLittle Moth

Filmed in a “digital generation” Vérité style, Moth is disturbingly realistic. Its injustices will likely outrage many viewers. Some might also get upset with Peng, who ends at a rather unsatisfying juncture. Presumably that is the point though. This is socially minded cinema at its most manipulative and effective…

While Moth shares the extremely naturalistic approach of many independent Chinese filmmakers, it has a very clear narrative thread. There is real danger and considerable double-dealing, though Peng chooses to de-emphasize the potential thriller aspects of her story (adapted from a novel by Bai Tianguang). It is certainly an example of a director masterfully controlling the audience’s emotional responses. Angry and heartrending, Moth packs a walloping emotional punch…

Read the full review.

Find out more about Little Moth.

Watch clips from Little Moth below:

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