Love and Bruises
Two strangers fall into a relationship defined by need and instability in this high-pitched emotional drama from Chinese auteur Lou Ye. Hua (Corinne Yam) is a woman in her late twenties who leaves her life in China behind to become a teacher in Paris. However, after falling in love with an older man, he abruptly abandons her, and while walking through the city in an emotional daze, he's accidentally struck to the ground by Mathieu (Tahar Rahim), a construction worker. Mathieu is quick to apologize and see that Hua gets home safely, but his concern seems more like obsession as the two soon become lovers. The couple's lovemaking is as intense as their frequent arguments, and as his behavior towards her becomes more bizarre and tinged with physical and emotional violence, she finds herself struggling to make sense of a love affair that's worse than the circumstances she left behind. Director Lou Ye has been a subject of frequent controversy in China -- his 2006 film Summer Palace led to authorities forbidding him to make films for five years -- and Love and Bruises represents another edgy project for him, as it was adapted from a novel by Jie Liu-falin that was banned by Chinese censors.