A Girl from Hunan
A Girl from Hunan tells the story of a willful young girl who, at the start of the film, is about to enter into an arranged marriage with a two-year-old child, Chun Guan. Xiao Xiao, the girl in question, is only twelve. Left by her uncle in this remote village, Xiao Xiao is expected to be less of a wife than a mother to her new husband and lives under the domineering control of her mother-in-law. Now sixteen, Xiao Xiao catches the eye of a farmhand, Hua Gou. She lets herself be seduced by him and soon finds herself pregnant. Knowing that the traditional village still executes women for adultery, Xiao Xiao is desperate to abort the baby but fails to accomplish her goal.
With her pregnancy clear, Xiao Xiao faces the wrath of her mother-in-law, only to be saved by the appeal of her young husband, who has grown to love his wife, though perhaps more as a mother-figure than a spouse. When Xiao Xiao’s child, a boy, is born, her mother-in-law begins the process of marrying off the child to yet another adolescent girl.