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Movie Review, "Woman Sesame Oil Maker"

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Stella Castro
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Movie Review, "Woman Sesame Oil Maker"

For my movie review I choose the movie, ´Woman, Sesame Oil Maker 1994, This movie was directed by Xie Fei and has won a Golden bear award, (a golden bear award is the highest award for the best film at the Berlin international film festival) I was astonished of this movies content as I hate to admit I expected this movie to be a nice family movie, because it is an Asian movie, as I always thought and think that Asian can do no harm. That they do not womanize, drink, have affairs with people who they re bit married to, have illegitimate kid, and engage in prostitution, and violence, all qualities of this movie.

The movie is about a woman which was marries at a young age in an arranged marriage. But life goes on and she becomes a very successful sesame oil maker. So she is well off, her business partner/associate turns out to be her lover, whom she has affairs with at her house, or at rendezvous places. It is not known until towards the end this “Business Partner”, is the father of one of her children that supposed to be from her husband, (what a tangle web we weave). This woman also has a son from her husband, that is mentally challenged, (the son), but the son insists he wants a wife, a woman. Since the woman is doing well in her business, she consults with her husband to see if they should purchase a wife for the son. Her husband disagrees and reminds his wife that their son is mentally challenged and would not make for a good husband; however the woman disregards her husbands concerns and looks for a wife for her mentally challenged son. After a couple of failed attempts she finally gets a peasant woman to agree to marry her son, although this woman is aware that her future husband has challenges, she agrees to marry him. So then there is a big elaborate wedding, with an all the trimmings and fixings good food and wine, dancing and wedding related festivities. However, this mentally challenged son does not know how to be a husband, and instead of having martial relations with his newly acquired wife, he chokes beats and bites her when they are in their room. (But this not happen all in one day it happens in different parts and scenes of the movie).) Naturally the new wife runs away, so now the mother has to repay the purchase price of the new wife, but the parents ante up the purchase price for their daughter, luckily for the woman, the newly purchased wife returns to the family, as any devoted daughter in law should do Filial piety.

That is the basic premise of the movie although there are many scenes that I would like to elaborate on which I thought were comical, such as the lover jumping out of a window when the woman’s husband comes home, or appalling such as when the newlywed couple goes to consummate their marriage and all family members wait right outside the door for the act to be accomplished.

As an educator I found this movie inappropriate to show students, because of its content values. First of all I would not be able to show it as I could not find an American rating for the movie. However, it does have good points of views throughout the movie; overall I think it would be frowned upon. But it does have a sense of family values, as when the mother is always protecting her mentally challenged boy, this shows love and respect something that can and should be taught to students. Then it also shows the aspect of being a good and successful business person and money gains. This can be taught to students that dreams can be achieved and that the harder you work the more gain one will receive. Students can be taught to spend their money wisely, as there are always repercussions to all ill transactions. The students can be taught to be loyal and trustworthy, and to faithful to their spouses, (although I don’t know if they will follow this advice). Students can also be told not to engage in prostitution as one can get a venereal disease, although prostitution is a profession. Students can be taught the importance of having protected intercourse. The most important lesson students can learn and take from watching this movie, is that violence towards another person is always a cowardly act, and one should not engage in violence of any sort, whether it be bad mouthing and name calling others, hitting/striking others, and bullying people. So overall I guess there are many points and things students can learn from watching this movie.