Hello!树先生 | Mr. Tree

Mr Tree

Shu, a bachelor, is an unreliable worker in his village’s motor-repair shop. He tends to stay silent, like a forgotten tree in the wilderness. When the villagers are forced to evacuate due to the expansion of the local mining activities, Shu goes to the provincial capital to ask his friend for a job in a tutorial school. There, Shu falls in love at first sight with Xiaomei, a deaf-mute girl. On the night before their wedding, Shu’s dead father, his elder brother and his elder brother’s murderer appear in his dreams. The wedding is a disaster, and Xiaomei leaves to rejoin her mother. The worries and intuitions that have long flashed through Shu’s mind start to make sense to him. He begins to make prophecies, and many of them come true.

Directed by Jie Han | Starring : Baoqiang Wang, Zhuo Tan, Jie He, Bo Liu, Jing An | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

Advertisements

孔雀 | Peacock

Peacock

Whereas most Chinese art house movies do actual medical damage to viewers with their chic nihilism and long, boring shots of people riding around in trucks, Peacock is a balm for your soul. The Cultural Revolution is China ‘s national trauma, a harrowing decade of turmoil and destruction where everyone just tried to hold on and survive, and when it ended in 1976 millions emerged blinking into the sunlight, astounded that they were still standing. Peacock follows an average family in the average town of Henyang through the eight years after the end of the Cultural Revolution as they pick up their lives as if nothing happened. It’s a great leap forward for the three adult children of the Gao clan. Anchored by a series of family meals, the kids are trying to make it in the world – Weihong, the daughter has to learn that her dream man isn’t going to solve all her problems; eldest brother Weiguo is a simple-minded fat guy who’s an unmarriageable weight around his parents’ necks; and the middle son, Weiqiang, is the typical middle child, narrating the movie and taking every injustice in life as a personal affront. A two-hour plus movie about a family in post-Revolutionary China sounds deadly, but in the hands of Gu Changwei it becomes essential viewing for the dejected, downtrodden and just plain weary. This is a film that traffics in the belief that it doesn’t matter how bad today gets because as long as we’re alive there’s always the hope for a better tomorrow.

Directed by Changwei Gu | Starring : Jingchu Zhang, Yulai Lu, Li Feng, Meiying Huang, Yiwei Zhao | Presented at Berlin Film Festival. Helsinki Film Festival, Brothers Manaki Film Festival, Sao Paulo 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