The Equation of Love and Death

Special admission prices apply: General admission, $10 until March 11, $11 on or after March 12; BAM/PFA and Center for Asian American Media members, $8; Students, seniors, and disabled persons, $9.

(Li Mi de zao yu). This black tragicomedy-cum-romance is a refreshingly edgy offering from China's still-developing commercial film sector. Anchored by a brilliant performance by major star Zhou Xun, Cao Baoping's second film doesn't let up for a moment. Zhou plays Li Mi, a chain-smoking cabbie in Kunming, southwest China. She is obsessed with her boyfriend, who, although he disappeared several years ago, continues to write her letters. Among her passengers is a bumbling couple of would-be drug smugglers who also cross paths with a man who appears to be her long-lost love. As the film swerves from physical comedy to bursts of violent fury, the plot forms and reforms before our eyes, laying out puzzles of identity and chronology that take satisfyingly unpredictable turns. Zhou makes Li Mi's volatile character the centerpiece of the film, and further stakes her claim to being the best film actress in China today.

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