日照重庆 | Chongqing Blues

Chongqing Blues2

Award-winning Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai explores new territories with his latest film Chongqing Blues, which was Mainland China’s only entry in the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival 2010. Inspired by a true hostage case that happened in Chongqing, the film digs into the heart of a guilt-ridden father who seeks redemption after the tragic death of his estranged son. Upon returning from his voyages, shipmaster Lin Quanhai is informed that his son was gunned down by the police half a year ago in a supermarket robbery. The tragedy prompts Lin to return to his Chongqing hometown to find out what happened to his son, whom he hasn’t seen in 13 years. His quest eventually brings him to the painful realization that he is the one to blame, having inflicted indelible damages to the ones closest to him through his long absence and negligence.

Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang | Starring : Xueqi Wang, Bingbing Fan, Hao Qin, Yi Zi, Feier Li | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, London Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival

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浮生 | Bliss

Bliss

This is a story about a family living beside a river. Like all the other families, every member of the family seems close to each other. But in fact they are miles apart, and everyone has a secret that they cannot share. The retried policeman Lao Li and his family members with is or her own character all want to have a special life for themselves. They get together in this family and create their own stories. Water in the river is flowing day and night, and life is just like a river. You can only move on without stopping. Never themes, it seems that people in the story are getting something in their hearts at a particular moment. Is that Joy? Or is that sorrow?

Directed by Zhimin Sheng | Starring : Zhong Liao, Lan Wang, Tao Xu, Xing-quan He, Jiang-ge Guan | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Bratislava Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Indianapolis Film Festival, Shanghai Film Festival

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

日日夜夜 | Night and Day

Nightandday

A story of an entrepreneurial miner racked by guilt over the death of his lover’s husband. Set in the fictional community of Tianquan, somewhere in bleak northern China, coal miner Li Guangsheng lives and works with the older Zhongmin, a father figure. Guangsheng, who is secretly having a hotsyhotsy affair with Zhongmin’s wife, is mortified when Zhongmin dies in a mine explosion and blames himself for not saving his friend. Suffering an attack of impotence, he sends Zhongmin’s widow away. After buying the mine under a new government policy designed to encourage private initiative, Guangsheng works like a Trojan to clear and re-open the site. He’s joined by Zhongmin’s son, A-fu, in his attempt to make a success of the mine.

Directed by Chao Wang | Starring : Lei Liu, Lan Wang, Ming Xiao, Guilin Sun, Zheng Wang | Presented at Nantes Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival