钢的琴 | The Piano in a Factory

The Piano in a Factory

An offbeat ballad of friendship and devotion, The Piano in a Factory captures the tempo of changing times with quiet wisdom and a tinge of nostalgia. Steelworker Chen has a passion for music and plays the accordion in a local band with a close group of friends. When his estranged wife returns one day after years of absence, she demands a divorce and sole custody of their daughter. Chen is at a loss. He doesn’t mind divorcing a woman who has become a stranger, but he can’t bear to part with his daughter. Chen has worked hard to give her a respectable life and has taught her his love of music. When asked if she’d rather stay with her father or go with her mother, the girl gives a practical, devastating answer: she’ll go with whomever can provide her with a piano. Chen cannot afford such a luxury item, but the piano becomes his last hope to save what little is left of his family. With the help of his loyal friends and the support of his lover – the singer in his band – Chen concocts several plans to fulfill his daughter’s wish, from sneaking her into the local music school at night to drawing a fake piano. He even tries to steal the instrument from the school – anything to keep her near him. Nothing works for long, until Chen looks around his fading steel factory town and hits on the perfect solution. The Piano in a Factory is an endearing portrait of a moment when the certainty of state-run industry begins to falter. Simple in its measured and assured direction, The Piano in a Factory establishes Zhang Meng as one of the most vibrant voices in Chinese cinema today.

Directed by Zhang Meng | Starring : Qianyuan Wang, Shin-yeong Jang, Hailu Qin, Yongzhen Guo, Er-yang Luo | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Miami Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

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走到底 | All the Way

All the Way

This love story is disguised as a road drama and a crime story with all the twists and turns along the way. Aptly directed by Shi Runjiu, with engaging cinematography that matches the feel of the story, All The Way involves many stories of many people surrounding one goal—find the guy who’s got the goods. The goods are antique coins that have been stolen more than once by Ah Dong who has a racket going with “rescuing” and stealing the coins. But now it seems his racket is ruined, and fate is closing in on him. His girlfriend Molly catches a ride with a delivery driver of a new van. The driver, Hong-wei, is drawn into Ah Dong and Molly’s fate as they coerce him with a shotgun to his head. Two truck drivers, two policemen, one artist, two thugs, a few other police characters—all are drawn in as the crime drama deepens. Molly’s story of meeting and loving Ah Dong is tender and touching when told to Hong-wei. This is the love story part—trying to save the one you love and being found by love again. All the Way takes us on a ride to where love and crime meet.

Directed by Runjiu Shi | Starring : Wu Jiang, Karen Mok, Cheng-yu Chang, Kui Zhou, Wang Qian-Yuan | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival