芳香之旅 | The Road

The Road

Aboard a bus in the rural mountains of China, a naïve young girl name Li Chunfen attends to passengers’ needs, all the while speaking of the virtues of the Communist Party. The always loyal Li is happy to serve the driver, Old Cui, a kind of father figure to her who also acts as the consoling voice of the party. When she develops an acute case of puppy love for a frequent passenger — an emotion that leads to a chased kiss and a rape report, she learns all too well that her party and driver might not always have her best interests in mind. But how big of hand will the Cultural Revolution play in Li’s life? How much control will she have over her own fate? Spanning five decades of Li’s life, The Road is a coming-of-age tale of epic proportions. Heartbreakingly beautiful — the countryside cinematography is jaw-dropping — and tragically timely, the film stands out as a masterful work from a powerful new Chinese voice, director Zhang Jiarui, reminding us of a painful history and warning us never to repeat it.

Directed by Jiarui Zhang | Starring : Jingchu Zhang, Wei Fan, Yuan Nie, Lu Huang, Xiaomei Jiang | Presented at Thessaloniki Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival

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十面埋伏 | House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers

Towards the end of the Tang dynasty, the Emperor’s rule is waning and corruption is rife, and many groups are formed in society to challenge the authorities. Out of all the groups, the most powerful is The House Of Flying Daggers. The government decides to send Feng Tian County’s top captains Leo and Jin to capture the new leader within 10 days. Leo suspects that Mei, the beautiful new dancer at the Peony Pavilion, is the daughter of the old leader, and Leo decides to send Jin disguised as a warrior called Wind to rescue Mei, and to ensnare her trust so she’ll lead them to the secret headquarters of The House Of Flying Daggers. But as Jin and Mei spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings and desire for each other. However danger is lurking from all corners, and can Jin and Mei really love each other when there are secrets being hidden from both sides?

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Dandan Song, Jun Guo | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Copenhagen Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Bergen Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, London Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Dublin Film Festival, Iceland Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival

盲井 | Blind Shaft

Blind Shaft

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident hushed up. For their latest “mark,” they choose a naive teenager from a small village, and as they prepare to carry out their newest plan, things start to get complicated…

Directed by Yang Li | Starring : Qiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang, Jing An, Zhenjiang Bao | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Bergen Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Bratislava Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Febio Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival, Jakarta Film Festival

假装没感觉 | Shanghai Women

Shanghai Women

After Women’s Story, Peng returns to the most straightforward representation of women’s issues in Shanghai Women, a film about three rural women. As the first work in Peng’s Shanghai Trilogy, Shanghai Women describes the problem that women encounter trying to secure urban (residential) space through the story of women from three generations: a grandmother, mother and a daughter, Ah-xia. Fed up with her philandering husband, the mother decides to divorce and moves with Ah-xia to grandmother’s. The grandmother lives with her son, with his wedding on the horizon. Grandmother’s becomes too cramped for comfort because of the larger family. To secure their place, mother accepts a reluctant marriage arranged by the grandmother, with Li, who lives with his son. Li is nitpicking, stingy, and even violent and finally the mother and Ah-xia leave the place together. The mother considers a remarriage with her ex-husband but Ah-xia encourages her mother to make their own future together and find their own place. The film reveals the realities of an urban divorced woman and her insecure life if she leaves her husband’s house in a scene where mother and daughter ceaselessly wander about creek-side areas in Shanghai.

Directed by Xiaolian Peng | Starring : Liping Lü, Haiying Sun, Zhenyao Zheng, Wenqian Zhou, Jing-ming Shi | Presented at Cairo Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival

蓝色爱情 | A Love of Blueness

A Love of Blueness2

Rookie policeman Tai Lin yearned to be an artist before he failed an examination and followed in his father’s footsteps. One day he interrupts an apparent suicide attempt by a woman standing on the edge of a bridge. He detains her when she claims to have murdered her husband, despite her protests that it’s all a joke. It turns out that Liu Yun is a performance artist, but Tai Lin is not amused and is glad to be rid of her when she is released.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Yueming Pan, Rujun Ten, Quan Yuan, Gang Wang, Yong Dong | Presented at Montréal Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival