EVE AND THE FIREHORSE
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Eve, a precocious nine year-old with an overactive imagination, was born in the year of the Fire Horse, notorious among Chinese families for producing the most troublesome children. When her older sister Karena becomes fascinated with Christianity, crucifixes pop up next to the Buddha in the familys house and Eve must contend with a Sunday school class where her wild imagination is distinctly out of place. Caught between her sisters quest for premature sainthood and her own sense of right and wrong, Eve faces the challenges of childhood with fanciful humour and wide-eyed wonder. Sometimes the most troublesome children are the ones that touch our hearts most deeply.
"Absolutely enthralling" -- Greg Buium, CBC
"Sparkles with visual Magic!" -- TORONTO SUN
Luminous! Intelligent, delicate and touching One of the most beloved films at Sundance -- Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Top Customer Reviews
Although this movie is not sold as a 'Christian movie,' if I was going to make a movie with a Christian message, this is the way I would do it. First, it is notably respectful of Buddhism, but it does make extremely subtle comparisons with Christianity. For example, the girl's mother at one point says that she meditates for hours, staring at a single point on the wall, then wonders why she can't experience the simple faith of her two little girls with their childish understanding of Catholicism.
Part of the climax of this movie is a scene where the girls decide Eve need to be baptized. Eve feels that many of the unpleasant things that have happened to her family is because she told a lie. So, the sisters decide to do it in the bath tub. I won't say what actually happens (I'll save it for you to see!Read more ›
The story tells of a Chinese family, not yet a generation as immigrants in Vancouver. The matriarch is a kindly Grandma, who clearly dotes on the younger daughter, Eve. The older sister, Karena, remains distant, but the two sisters enjoy each other's company, as the opening scenes convey. Buddhist and Confucian traditions are a major element in all their lives, but the outside world looms increasingly close. The almost stereotypical example is the family's communication in the house, with the girls directing comments in English to the parents, who respond in Chinese. Kwan is meticulous in handling that first cross-cultural inroad. The girls, of course, attend an English speaking school, not a Chinese-language one.
A crisis, prompted by May Lin's (the children's mother) cutting down an apple tree, arises with the death of Grandma, which prompts questions of what happens in the afterlife. In Buddhist tradition, the dead may reappear on the seventh day, and sure enough, Grandma is seen by Eve, but by nobody else in the family. Reincarnation, a fundamental facet of Asian societies, leads Eve's mother, played by the stunning Vivian Wu, to bring Eve a goldfish. The manifestation of Grandma in the fish will be hilarious to a Western audience, but has serious meaning for Eve.Read more ›
As the previous reviewer mentioned, this film portrays two girls' spiritual journey from Confucianism/Buddhism to Christianity/Catholicism. What sets this film apart from many other religious films is that all religions and religious people are presented sympathetically. What sets this film apart from most secular films is that all of the characters are presented lovingly, sympathetically and fairly. There are no caricatures in this film. This is strikingly evident in the scene where the girls encounter two door-to-door Protestant evangelists who introduce the girls to Jesus. Thankfully, the typical, cynical, anti-fundamentalist joke never comes. The evangelists are simply presented as two men sincerely interested in sharing their love for Jesus.
This "chance" (really, providential) encounter with followers of Jesus awakens the heart of the older sister, who is obviously pre-disposed toward accepting an explicit call to the faith; what Catholics would call "actual grace." We see the action of this grace unfold in the sisters' lives in confused, profound and tender ways. Most of the film regards the girls' spiritual development and its effect on the people surrounding them.Read more ›