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Peng Xiaolian's aptly titled feminist feature from the People's Republic of China (1988) follows the adventures of three peasant women who leave their oppressive village to sell wool in Beijing and a provincial city before returning to their ambiguous fates in the village. Peng sticks exclusively to the viewpoints of her three heroines, revealing herself to be a remarkable director of actors, and her incisive feeling for the options of her characters--both as women and as peasants--gives this melodrama a cumulative force and authority. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Sunday, November 17, 6:00, 443-3737)

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