人山人海 | People Mountain People Sea

People Mountain People Sea

Lao Tie knows in his heart that he must help find his younger brother’s killer, despite his own problems. He has only recently returned home penniless to the remote mountain community after years away working in the city. Although the police identified the murderer as ex-con Xiao Qiang from a neighbouring village, they were not able to stop him from escaping. Lao Tie decides to hunt down his brother’s killer. He begins a journey that will unleash his long-suppressed inner pain and rage.

Directed by Shangjun Cai | Starring : Zhenjiang Bao, Hong Tao, Jianbin Chen, Xiubo Wu, Yanming Li | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival

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生活秀 | Life Show

Life Show

With the aftermath of China’s Cultural Revolution as its backdrop, this drama showcases the resilience of a 30-something woman as she tries to pick up the pieces of her family’s life. After her mother’s death, Shuang Yang raises her brother, only to witness him fall into drug addiction, all as she runs a struggling restaurant in Chongqing. She lives day to day until a regular customer asks her out, igniting a spark of love, and hope.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Höng Tao, Zeru Tao, Yueming Pan, Yang Yi, Deyuan Luo | Presented at Shanghai Film FestivalMontréal Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

夏日暖洋洋 | I Love Beijing

I Love Beijing

The third film in director Ning Ying’s “Beijing Trilogy”, this romantic drama follows the fortunes of a young cab driver who is depressed because of a recent divorce. He turns his personality around to become a ladies’ man, wooing a waitress, a librarian, and then a talk-show host. Lost in the dating wars, he longs to find the love of his life in the rapidly changing city of Beijing. Winner of the Don Quixote Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Yu Lei, Zuo Baitao, Höng Tao, Yi Gai, Miao Liu | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Belgrade Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival

美丽新世界 | A Beautiful New World

A Beautiful New World

Comedy. Baogen, a young man from out of town unused to city living, has won a lottery prize – a new flat in Shanghai. Unfortunately, when he arrives to claim his prize he finds that the new apartment is not nearly ready and – to make matters worse – the estate agent is doing his best to swindle him. Baogen decides to stay in the city and ends up at the home of streetwise Jinfang; an unlikely friendship thus begins to develop.

Directed by Runjiu Shi | Starring : Wu Jiang, Hong Tao, Richie Ren, Ning Chen, Wu Bai | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

阳光灿烂的日子 | In the Heat of the Sun

In the Heat of the Sun

“Change has wiped out my memories. I can’t tell what’s imagined from what’s real” One central obsession, time, preoccupies all of the greatest Chinese language films of the ‘90s. Each of these films in some way makes the most radical demands on our experience of temporality, exposes the ideological underpinnings of our preconceptions about time, and insists on a vision of breathtaking, liberating alternatives. Although it played in a few film festivals, In the Heat of the Sun remains largely unknown outside of China. Jiang Wen and writer Wang Shuo (the cynical “bad boy” of new Chinese literature) collaborated on this 1994 feature about coming-of-age in 1970s Beijing. A cast made up largely of young teenagers portrays what it might have been like to be young, privileged, and completely unfettered in a Beijing largely depopulated of adult authority figures by Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The film’s politics, though, are implied — mere shadows on its margins. Jiang’s camera, wandering at will through space, and tracking and backtracking through time, embodies an absolute freedom just out of reach of the film’s principals. Ostensibly a nostalgia film about the Cultural Revolution’s “good old days”, this film is much more: a self-consciously post-modern, post-“fifth generation” dismantling of the modern Chinese realist film; an ironic, romance-drenched interrogation of the possibility of eros and passion in a totalitarian era; and a meditation on the traps and opportunities afforded by creative mis-remembering.

Directed by Wen Jiang | Starring : Yu Xia, Wen Jiang, Geng Le, Jing Ning, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Venice Film Festival