落叶归根 | Getting Home

Getting Home

Zhao is an ageing worker who toils away in Shenzen in order to earn a living. When his friend and colleague Wang suddenly dies, Zhao decides to transport his body back to his native town. He purchases two tickets for the cross-country bus, and pretends that his silent travelling companion has drunk so much alcohol that he has fallen unconscious. Shortly afterwards, the bus is attacked by armed bandits. Zhao asks the bandits to kill him first, so that he can stay with his dead friend forever. Touched by this display of loyalty, the robbers decide to let the bus go. But instead of thanking Zhao, the other passengers throw him and his dead friend off the bus. Pretending that his friend is seriously ill and must be taken to hospital immediately, Zhao tries to flag down passing cars. After spending the night in a hotel, Zhao discovers that all his money has been stolen and begins to lose heart. But he refuses to be browbeaten. Whenever he needs money, he rearranges Wong so that he looks like a beggar. And whenever he is hungry, he joins a funeral party and bawls his eyes out so that he can enjoy the food served at the wake. During his odyssey across China Zhao is obliged to get along with all kinds of people. Just before he reaches his destination, the old man and his dead friend are caught in a torrential downpour, so that now Zhao finds himself engaged in a struggle against nature.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Benshan Zhao, Dandan Song, Degang Guo, Haiying Sun, Ma Wu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Vladivostok Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Edmonton 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

四十不惑 | Family Portrait

Family Portrait

After laying bare backward village mentalities in Bloody Morning, Li Shaohong turns her attention to China’s urban middle class. Cao is a photographer, married to an opera singer and with an infant son, caught in the usual professional morass of political compromise. His life starts to fall apart when he learns that his ex-wife also bore him a son some months after their divorce – and when the boy turns up looking for his father. Nothing wildly dramatic, just believable people in believable situations. If the ending seems a touch forced, this is nevertheless a sign that ‘Fifth Generation’ cinema is changing and coming to terms with up-to-date realities.

Directed by Shaohong Li | Starring : Xuejian Li, Dandan Song, Jing Ye, Ding Ding, Guixiang Yang | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival