将爱情进行到底 | Eternal Moment

Eternal Moment

China, the modern day. I: Yang Zheng recalls how he graduated in 1999, contacted his onetime college girlfriend Wenhui in the US in 2001 and married her when she returned to China in 2003. Since he has become a successful CEO, she has become a full-time housewife. But one evening, when he comes home intending to watch his favourite sports programme on TV as usual, suddenly he doesn’t recognise the woman he married. And when he moves out to a hotel, she doesn’t come looking for him. II: Wenhui, divorced and with two young twin sons, is working as a shopgirl in Shanghai, while Yang Zheng, about to be divorced, is a car mechanic in Beijing. Neither has seen the other for over a decade, but they both attend a 10th anniversary college reunion in Shanghai organised by their friend Jiawei. They end up spending a whole night together, recalling past times and re-igniting old fires. III: Yang Zheng traces a drunken happy-birthday call from Wenhui to Bordeaux, and flies from Beijing to see her for the first time in over a decade. At Bordeaux train station, Wenhui is waiting to welcome Chuchu, the mistress of her boss Pan Xiao,  head of specialist wine retailer YH Global. Wenhui introduces Yang as her boyfriend. She later tells Yang that Pan is actually her husband, not her boss. With Pan temporarily away, Wenhui, Yang and Chuchu spend time together.

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Jinglei Xu, Yapeng Li, Xuebing Wang, Chapman To, Jie He | Presented at N/A

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夜上海 | The Longest Night in Shanghai

The Longest Night in Shanghai

A successful Japanese make-up artist collides with a tough-talking Shanghai taxi driver in this romantic dramedy that twists traditional roles by making the beauty expert a male and the cab driver a feisty female. Although he works in a glamorous industry, Naoki Mizushima can’t help but notice that his life is anything but beautiful. Can the uncouth Lin Xi help him make over his life for the better?

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Wei Zhao, Masahiro Motoki, Dylan Kuo, Sam Lee, Takashi Tsukamoto | Presented at 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