“Mao’s Last Dancer,” a 2009 Australian film directed by Bruce Beresford, will be screened Friday as part of the International Film series, now in its 15th year.
The series is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Davis and Intternational House. Doors at I-House, 10 College Park, open at 7:30 p.m. and the film begins promptly at 8 p.m.
There is no charge, but donations are accepted with gratitude to help cover the cost of DVD rental, facilities use and refreshments.
The drama “Mao’s Last Dancer” is based on the true story of Li Cunxin, who, at the age of 11, was taken from a small Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates to study ballet in Beijing. Together with years of rigorous ballet training, he also had to learn to be a proud representative of Mao’s China.
Li was discovered by Ben Stevenson of the Houston Ballet and chosen as one of the first two cultural exchange students to the United States in the late 1970s. He thrived in Houston, discovering that freedom is the greatest gift for an artist or anyone else. Li’s defection in 1981, soon after he married ballerina Elizabeth Mackey, was headline news.