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

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狂 | Ripples Across Stagnant Water

Ripples Across Stagnant Water

With few other real options, when the young village woman in this story is offered an arranged marriage with a kindly but mildly retarded shopkeeper who lives in a nearby town, she readily accepts. Once she has settled into her new home, she becomes involved with her new husband’s patron, a man involved in some underworld trading activities. Eventually, their relationship becomes so heated that the man moves in with her with her husband’s consent. Meanwhile, since it is the 1890s, China is facing all sorts of unrest, from the Boxer Rebellion to ferocious military rivalries. Even her new lover is facing dangerous threats from a business rival.

Directed by Zifeng Ling | Starring : Yong You, Qing Xu, Jun Zhao, Jianguo Yao, Shao-tien Hsiung | Presented at N/A

血色清晨 | Bloody Morning

Bloody Morning

This film captures the depressing everyday life in a small town where everyone knows a murder will happen. Fifth-generation woman director Li Shaohong has freely adapted the García Márquez novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold to produce a truly shocking account of the consequences of poverty and backwardness in a North China village. In her version, the victim of the all-too-preventable killing is not a wealthy man but the village teacher, the only intellectual in a community of peasants. The build-up to the crime, explored in a web of flashbacks, turns out to hinge on the inner rage of a 36-year-old male virgin and on the puritanical stance of traditional village society; but what Li ultimately lays bare is the psyche of a people for whom existence means no more than survival.

Directed by Shaohong Li | Starring : Jun Zhao, Zhaohui Gong, Yajie Hu, Lu Hui, Lin Kong | Presented at Nantes Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival