The Chinese film The Star and The Sea deserves Oscar recognition

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The Star and The Sea is an the emotional stirring epic film created by award-winning directors Qiankuan Li and Guiyun Xiao, a husband and wife team.   Guiyun Xiao received the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award in the fall of 2010. The Star and The Sea is a biographical tale of the child hood of the worldwide renowned musician and composer Xian Xinghai. The film exposes the audience to the hard life, lack of nutrition, famine and suffering, which Xian Xinghai experience in China during the early 19th century.  The film’s moving portrayal of the development of the young child’s amazing talent deserves Oscar recognition.

Over five hundred children auditioned to play Xian Xinghai as a young boy. The casting of Jiahang Su is what crafts the film into a masterpiece. Jiahang Su’s performance is emotionally captivating and flawless.  Through Su’s expressions of joy in response to sounds surrounding his environment, the viewers easily visualizes how the musical talents developed in this young boy.  Vivian Hsu as the boy’s mother presents an accomplished performance; and shows the difficult challenges of accepting and recognizing her son’s musical talents in the midst of trying to raise a young boy as a single parent in extreme poverty.


Xian Xinghai famed “Yellow River Cantata,” was composed in 1939 it is “a stunning piece of the late Romantic nationalist agitprop. Allegedly written in a cave in just six days during the Anti-Japanese War, this seven-movement cantata (text by Guang Weiran) uses traditional folk melodies.”  The image of the mighty Huanghe (Yellow River) is a symbol of Chinese defiance against the Japanese invaders.   Xian Xian’s music became a motivational force for the Chinese revolution.”

The Star and The Sea poetically shows the audience how Xian Xinghai became a pioneer of rich modern Chinese music.  “Xian composed music in all major forms (two symphonies, violin concerto, four large-scale choral works, nearly 300 songs and an opera) and wrote many essays about musical theory.”

Vivian Hsu as the boy’s mother and Jiahang Su who

pays Xian Xinghai as a young boy.

The Star and The Sea, directors: Qiankuan Li, Guiyun Xiao cast: Vivian Hsu, Jiahang Su, Youpeng Su, Chengyang Wang, Xiangmei Su.  Print source: The Film Library, Suite 3208, Central Plaza, 18 Harbor Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 852 286000033





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