黑血 | Black Blood

Black Blood

Not everything is progress in China. Less and less rain means that the inhabitants of Inner Mongolia have to do everything to survive. For instance, sell their own blood. And in order to sell enough blood, you have to drink. A drama of fate shot in impressively expressive black-and-white. In a remote mountain village in the northwest of China, close to a nuclear test zone, the poverty-stricken Xiaolin sells his blood to pay his daughter’s school fees. Together with his wife Xiaojuan, he tries to set up a business. At first that seems very lucrative, but then fate strikes: it turns out that both Xiaolin and Xiaojuan are infected with HIV. Just like thousands of other poor people, who illegally sell their blood to be able to buy something as essential as water. Black Blood, supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, tells a small and personal story against the background of an ecological disaster. In the valley where the film was shot, there is also in reality no water anymore. ‘Water is more valuable than blood and many villages have already been deserted,’ according to Zhang Miaoyan. Zhang films the poor odd-jobbers for more than two hours in hypnotic black-and-white and – very briefly – in equally stunning colours.

Directed by Miaoyan Zhang | Starring : Mengjuan Liu, Danhui Mao, Yingying | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Las Palmas Film Festival, Jeonju Film Festival, Montréal Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

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世界 | The World

The World

Set in World Park—a Beijing theme park featuring replicas of 106 must-see sites from 14 countries—The World is a deeply-affecting story of love, spectacle and social injustice set against a backdrop of intensifying globalisation. Here the pretty young dancer Tao lives out her dreams, performing hourly for the amusement of the tourists. Behind the glittering costumes the dancers’ lives are a finely-tuned choreography of changing personal relationships. Amid the opportunities of a rapidly-urbanising ‘new China’ where assurance is only a text-message away, hopes and dreams flourish. But disappointment stalks, and Tao realises the isolated theme park is not immune to the harsh realities of life. One of the most important films by the leading director of the China’s Sixth Generation, The World is Jia’s first film to have offical sanction from the Chinese Government.

Directed by Zhang Ke Jia | Starring : Tao Zhao, Taisheng Chen, Hongwei Wang, Sanming Han, Jing Dong Liang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Las Palmas Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Reykjavik Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival