Eve & the Fire Horse [subtitled in part]

Eve & the Fire Horse

I can’t say this one did a whole lot for me.

Eve & the Fire Horse is a story of two little Chinese girls and their family, immigrants to Canada. There isn’t all that much in the way of a plot. The primary focus is on the girls’ earnest experience and experiments trying on different religions and spiritual frameworks for size, from traditional Chinese superstitions, to Buddhism, to the Jehovah’s Witness version of Christianity, to Catholicism, to various idiosyncratic combinations thereof.

I don’t know that it’s autobiographical, but it easily could be. It feels like someone’s memoir of their childhood, looking back with a chuckle but also a certain appreciation for what it had been like to be so sincere and serious and pure of heart in trying to figure out the world and be a good person.

The girls are cute, there are a few funny little moments, and it’s a pleasant and obviously well-intended film, but I just wasn’t all that drawn in. It’s the kind of thing that if I had been more open to it, like if I had a personal connection to the girls (say, I was dating one of them as an adult and she was telling me stories of her childhood), I could see thinking it’s really interesting learning about such a different background and speculating about how it shapes a person moving forward and such. But as it was I found myself only caring minimally about these folks.

I also thought all the superstition–not so much from the girls, whom I can more readily excuse for not knowing any better, but from the adults–was annoying. Seeing people weave superstition and religion and folk beliefs about “luck” and such into so many aspects of their lives is an unpleasant reminder that with the exception of a tiny elite, the bulk of the human race is still as primitive as cavemen when it comes to mind-bogglingly stupid, irrational stuff that pushes the right emotional buttons.

It’s hard to single out anything all that “wrong” with this movie. All I can say is my subjective experience of it was that I was mildly bored for most of it.

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