Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Medieval morality and the modern approach to justice are only two of the many threads that weave through this drama of crime and passion. When a schoolteacher in a Chinese village is found dead in an alley one morning, there is no doubt who did the deed. Two brothers readily confess to having murdered him. What the investigator needs to determine is the boys' motive. How could they possibly be incited to murder anyone so brutally. It turns out that the teacher's fiancee was the best friend of the boys' sister, and somehow the teacher deflowered the girl. In the village world the boys inhabit, this is a far more serious crime than the boys' subsequent ritualized execution of the teacher. This tale of passion in a Chinese village is based on a Latin American novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold.