A Girl from Hunan (also known as Girl from Hunan) (Chinese: 湘女萧萧; pinyin: Xiāngnǔ xiāoxiāo) is a 1986 Chinese drama film directed by Xie Fei and U Lan. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, and was one of the first mainland Chinese films to be commercially screened in the United States. The film is based on a 1929 short-story, Xiao Xiao (or Hsiao Hsiao), by author Shen Congwen.
A Girl from Hunan tells the story of a willful young girl (initially played by Lin Qing and played as an adult by Naren Hua) who, at the start of the film, is about to enter into an arranged marriage with a two-year-old child, Chun Guan. Xiao Xiao, the girl in question, is only twelve.
Left by her uncle in this remote village, Xiao Xiao is expected to be less of a wife than a mother to her new husband and lives under the domineering control of her mother-in-law. Now sixteen, Xiao Xiao catches the eye of a farmhand, Hua Gou (played by Deng Xiaoguang). She lets herself be seduced by him and soon finds herself pregnant. Knowing that the traditional village still executes women for adultery, Xiao Xiao is desperate to abort the baby but fails to accomplish her goal.
With her pregnancy clear, Xiao Xiao faces the wrath of her mother-in-law, only to be saved by the appeal of her young husband, who has grown to love his wife, though perhaps more as a mother-figure than a spouse. When Xiao Xiao's child, a boy, is born, her mother-in-law begins the process of marrying off the child to yet another adolescent girl.