Mao's Last Dancer is a biographical film, DVD and Blu-ray are set for release on March 29, 2011. The film is directed by Bruce Beresford, based on ballet dancer Li Cunxin's autobiography Mao's Last Dancer. The film stars Chi Cao as the adult Li Cunxin, Chengwu Guo as the teenage Li Cunxin, Huang Wen Bin as Li Cunxin as a boy, Joan Chen as Niang, his mother, Wang Shuang Bao as Dia, his father, Bruce Greenwood as Ben Stevenson, Amanda Schull as Elizabeth, Kyle Maclachlan as Charles Foster, Jack Thompson as Judge Woodrow Seals, Camilla Vergotis as Mary McKendry and Aden Young as Dilworth.

Movie synopsis: At the heart of Mao's Cultural Revolution, 11-year-old boy Li Cunxin, living in an impoverished mountain village, is selected to learn ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. On a visit to China, American ballet director Ben Stevenson is impressed by Li's talent and offers him a three-month stay in the US as an exchange student at his ballet school, the Houston Ballet.
Quickly attracting the attention of the local ballet scene, Li, with Stevenson's encouragements, requests an extension to stay longer in America; however, the Chinese government refuses. Overwhelmed by the opportunities offered in America and being deeply in love with a fellow ballet student, Elizabeth Mackey, Li is determined to stay. He does not want to defect because of the problems that he would cause for his family in China and for Stevenson's relationship with the Chinese government. As a newly wed, he visits the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Houston with his lawyer and Stevenson, to report his marriage to the Chinese government and to ask for permission to stay in the US. Despite having been told China respects international marriages by his lawyer, he is detained, only released after 21 hours and high-level negotiations in what has become an international incident. Finally, told he is free to stay in the US but not allowed to go back to China ever again, Li leaves the consulate in great distress.

Mao's Last Dancer Video

Unable to contact his family in China, Li worries constantly about their well-being and his marriage with Elizabeth fails. After five years, as a show of goodwill, the Chinese government allows Li's parents to visit him in America. They see his performance of the The Rite of Spring, at the end of which they reunite with him on stage. Three years later Li is granted permission to visit China, together with his new wife Mary McKendry (Camilla Vergotis), an Australian ballerina. In the village where he grew up, apart from meeting his parents again, he reunites with his brothers and a former teacher, Chan who has dreamed of seeing him dance. Li then gives an impromptu outdoor ballet performance with his wife to the village's uproarious cheer.

The releases will contain but one bonus feature, which is a Making Of featurette. The DVD will be available for the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of $22.98, while the Blu-ray will run at the MSRP of $29.99.

on Jan 15, 2011
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