A Custody Battle in E Minor

If you missed the quirky Chinese import The Piano in a Factory when it premiered at last year’s Miami Film Festival, you’ll have another chance at 7 tonight when it screens at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center. With a divorce looming from his estranged wife, a street musician attempts to construct a piano from scratch so that his musically inclined daughter will stay with him instead of her mother. It’s a cockeyed scheme, attempted alongside a ragtag cabal of factory-worker friends whose diversionary subplots are just as interesting as the main story line. Director Zhang Meng is a restless aesthete, creating gorgeous, painterly compositions only to track away from them in unpredictable directions. The Piano in a Factory is an explosion of color, movement, and sound whose infectious soundtrack combines classical and rock music, Russian folk ballads, children’s tunes, and old Nintendo music. “The various issues that Meng explores — divorce, the challenges presented to the working class during the industrialization of China in the ’90s, the influence of Western culture — are all relevant issues that will resonate with Western audiences,” says local film scholar Shelly Isaacs, who will present the film in Aventura. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-466-8002, or visit aventuracenter.org.
Tue., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., 2012
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John Thomason
Contact: John Thomason