奥戈 | Diago

Diago

The film adaptation of the novel by Macanese writer Lio Chi Heng marks the 10th anniversary of the transfer of the Portuguese colony of Macau to Chinese administration. The year is 1999 and Macau television ceaselessly informs the population of preparations for the upcoming handover. In the atmosphere of the changing society, when some submit to Chinese lessons and others consider emigration, the movie’s protagonist begins to investigate his own identity. Now more than ever he senses his Portuguese- Macanese roots, which always prevented him from feeling at home with his stepfather and sister. The title character’s pilgrimage opens up the theme of the search for personal and social identity on the threshold of postcolonial life; at the time of the transfer it represented a pressing issue for the majority of Macau’s inhabitants. In long, austere sequences imbued with melancholy, the narration captures feelings of dispossession, but it also offers hope, an ineluctable element of every quest.

Directed by Chi Zhang | Starring : Carl Ng, Xiao Wang, Carlos Koo, Sixuan Zhou | Presented at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

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地下的天空 | The Shaft

The Shaft

In a mining town in western China, separately, we follow three members of a family. Each individual family members’ story flows from one to another chronologically, although they do not simply trace the continual development of a single family. There is the daughter who has to choose between her dreams and a suitable husband, the son who is about to start work down the mine, and the father who has just retired. Their lives are inextricably bound together as they symbolically represent the men and women from all mining towns who must accept their thwarted dreams and aspirations, and learn to accept their lot in life.

Directed by Chi Zhang | Starring : Deyuan Luo, Xuan Huang, Luoqian Zheng, Chen Li, Qiya Gong | Presented at Edinburgh Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival

左右 | In Love We Trust

In Love We Trust

A divorced couple learns that the only way to save their little daughter, who suffers from a blood disease, is to have another child. Now both remarried, Mei Zhu and Xiao Lu are forced to test their love and their commitment to one another by putting their current relationships in danger. A story of parenthood, love, married life, betrayal, trust and giving, which touches upon changes in contemporary society and family life, as well as the moral and ethical dilemmas brought on by modernity.

Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang | Starring : Weiwei Liu, Jia-yi Zhang, Nan Yu, Taisheng Chen, Yuanyuan Gao | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Pula Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival

图雅的婚事 | Tuya’s Marriage

Tuya's Wedding

Living conditions are deteriorating for those who lead a rural existence in north-western Mongolia. China’s industry is expanding – even into this inhospitable region – and the government is pressurising Monoglian shepherds to give up their nomadic way of life, move to the nearby towns and settle down as farmers. Beautiful and self-confident Tuya refuses to leave her pastureland. She’d rather stay here with her disabled husband, two children and one hundred sheep, and continue to pursue a life of privation in the endless expanse of the steppe. But all the hard work begins to take its toll on Tuya. Her husband Bater tries to convince her to divorce him, but Tuya refuses to comply even with his wishes. One day, she falls ill and for the first time begins to consider a divorce, because this would enable her to find someone to help her to look after Bater, the two children and their one hundred sheep. However, none of her suitors are prepared to take on Bater – until Tuya’s old classmate Baolier arrives on the scene. Having found a very nice nursing home for Bater, he persuades Tuya and the children to move to town. But, far away from the steppe and separated from his family, Bater finds it impossible to get used to life at the home. In desperation he slashes his wrists. When the news reaches Tuya, she realises that the time has come for her to act …

Directed by Quan’an Wang | Starring : Nan Yu, Ba’toer, Sen’ge, Zhaya, Bao’lier | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, London Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Maui Film Festival

放逐 | Exiled

Exiled

Set in a Macau, China, that resembles more a Mexican town than anything Chinese, this film by the acclaimed director Johnnie To starts as four mysterious outlaws descend on the house of a fellow criminal Wo, who is living a quiet life with his wife and baby. Two of the hoods, Blaze and Fat, have come to kill Wo, on the orders of their Boss, while the other two, Tai and Cat, have come to save him. Both sides know each other well, having grown up together, and soon the group decides to save Wo’s life, and run from the Boss’ hired guns.

Directed by Johnnie To | Starring : Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Francis Ng, Simon Yam, Nick Cheung, Richie Ren | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, La Rochelle Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival

三峡好人 | Still Life

Still Life

Coalminer Han Sanming comes from Fengyang in Shanxi to the Three Gorges town Fengjie to look for his ex-wife whom he has not seen for 16 years. The couple meet on the bank of the Yangtze River and vow to remarry. Nurse Shen Hong also comes to Fengjie from Taiyuan in Shanxi to look for her husband who has not been home for two years. The couple embrace each other and waltz under the imposing Three Gorges dam, but feel they are so apart and decide to have a divorce. The old township has been submerged, while a new town has to be built. Life persists in the Three Gorges – what should be taken up is taken up, what should be cast off is cast off.

Directed by Zhang Ke Jia | Starring : Tao Zhao, Zhou Lan, Sanming Han, Lizhen Ma, Hongwei Wang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Durban Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival

今天的鱼怎么样? | How Is Your Fish Today?

How is your fish today

How Is Your Fish Today? tells the story of a famous screenwriter whose film scripts have all been rejected by Chinese censors. He writes a script about a man named Lin Hao for his producer, who expects it to be a Chinese version of The Fugitive. Upon reading Rao’s arthouse script, the producer rejects it as the worst screenplay he has ever read. Rao is infuriated with the response and kills Lin’s wife. Lin finds out while cheating on his wife and immediately sends Rao a thank you note. Rao is upset that Lin did not get adequately infuriated and kills all of Lin’s dogs. Lin then calls in three Nazis he knew from back in the day to poop all over Rao’s lawn. Rao is discouraged and now sees his mistake. However, Rao does not abandon his story, instead he rewrites it. Rao begins to live through his main character, Lin Hao, as he writes about him fleeing his home on a journey of self-discovery. Hao makes his way to Mohe, as does Rao, and the writer enters his own narrative. Both characters, in a struggle for freedom, have left their homes behind, but while Lin Hao is running away, Hui Rao is searching for something.

Directed by Xiaolu Guo | Starring : Xiaolu Guo, Ning Hao, Hui Rao, Zijiang Yang | Presented at Edinburgh Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival