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When Ruoma was Seventeen

Director: Jiarui Zhang
Language: Mandarin

Set in Yunnan province in southwestern China, “When Ruoma was Seventeen” tells the bittersweet coming-of-age story of a teenage girl who is a member of the Hani, an ethnic minority group. Living in the countryside of Xishuanbanna, which has yet to become modernized, the 17-year-old Ruoma (Li Min) lives a quiet life selling roasted corn to tourists. When she meets a sophisticated young photographer named Aming (Yang Zhigang), he offers her money to pose for photos with tourists. Their idea succeeds in attracting many visitors, and gradually Ruoma falls in love with Aming. The terraced paddy fields and traditional Hani rituals and colorful textiles make for visual treats.