黑白照片 | Shanghai Shimen Road

Shanghai Shimen Road

In the late 1980’s Shanghai, a 16 year-old boy, Xiaoli, comes of age surrounded by his neighbors and grandfather. His best friend is a girl named Lanmi, a couple years older than him. But Lanmi slowly drifts away from him, lured by the new opportunities which come as China opens up to foreign goods and businessmen. At the same time, the 1989 events force Xiaoli to grow up and to let go of his teenage dreams.

Directed by Haolun Shu | Starring : Ewen Cheng, Xufei Zhai, Lili Wang, Shouqin Xu, Yang Xiao | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Lille Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, Sao Paulo 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

父子 | After This Our Exile

After This Our Exile

the hopeless pursuit of happiness, Aaron Kwok stars as Shing, a man who desperately attempts to hold onto the dwindling threads of his family. Once a man who had a dream, Shing has become a deadbeat gambler whose marriage is failing with wife Lin. Shing’s machoistic ego overrides any reasonable logic for change, which forces Lin to leave Shing repeatedly. After finally managing to escape, Shing is left with nothing but his son, Lok-Yun. Hoping in vain to pay back loansharks, Shing turns to his loving son, Lok-Yun, who has somehow retained his filial loyalty. In his most desperate hour, Shing forces his struggle of survival onto his son, Lok-Yun, through thievery and tests the strength of loyalty and the boundaries of trust in their father-son relationship. With each passing day, the bond of love is threatened with Shing’s unrepentant ways.

Directed by Patrick Tam | Starring : Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeung, Kelly Lin, King-to Ng, Valen Hsu | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, San Francisco 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

看上去很美 | Little Red Flowers

Little Red Flowers

Qiang is a four-year-old little rebel, possessed of a pair of luminous eyes and a precociously indomitable will. His father deposits him at a well-appointed residential kindergarten in post-1949 Beijing, since his parents are often away. Life at the kindergarten appears rich and colourful, made up of a variety of cheerfully sunny rituals and games meant to train these children to be good members of society. But it’s not so easy for Qiang to adapt to this kind of carefully organized, minutely scrutinized collective life. A fierce individualist in miniature, he tries but fails to conform to the model his teachers enforce. Yet he still craves the reward that the other students win: the little red flowers awarded each day as tokens for good behaviour. But Qiang doesn’t win any flowers: he can’t yet dress himself, and doesn’t play together with the other kids. He even dares to talk back to the strict Teacher Li and Principal Kong when they try to impose some discipline on him. Gradually, his charisma and bravado start to win over his classmates: their stealthy little rebellions gain steam when he succeeds in convincing everyone that Teacher Li is a child-eating monster in disguise. When their attempt to capture her is thwarted, Qiang’s resistance develops a more disturbing dimension, and he is forcibly ostracized from his companions. Will he succumb to the adult-enforced conformity around him, or will he insist on growing up his own way, by his own rules?

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Bowen Dong, Yuanyuan Ning, Zhao Rui, Xiaofeng Li, Chen Manyuan | Presented at Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Espoo Film Festival

可可西里 | Mountain Patrol

Mountain Patrol

Kekexili is based on actual events. From Mainland China, the film tells the story of Ga Yu, a reporter from Beijing who in 1996 travels to the eponymous region on the border of Tibet, where some local men have organized a civilian patrol to fight the poachers who are decimating the region’s endangered population of Tibetan antelopes, prized for their pelts, which are then exported, to be sold as (once trendy) shahtoosh shawls. As Ga Yu arrives in a remote town, a member of the patrol has recently been coldly executed by the poachers, and the taciturn leader, Ritai, is heading out on another patrol, determined to find those responsible. Ga Yu convinces Ritai to let him tag along by suggesting that a story in a Beijing newspaper might spur the Chinese government to take more forceful action to protect the antelopes. The group leaves on their perilous, high altitude journey. From the film’s opening, with the aforementioned murder, it’s a harrowing trip. Kekexili captures the deprivation and danger of this harsh land, and the necessary ruggedness of the people who live there, with impeccable clarity. Filmmaker Lu tells his story visually, for the most part, with exemplary economy. He doesn’t spend any more time than needed on characterization. He leaves it to his audience to figure out what motivates Ritai and his team to risk their lives in order to protect the animals. Whatever it is, it’s clear that it goes beyond a mere concern for the environment. Ritai ends up completely possessed with finding the gunmen who slaughtered the most recent herd of antelope. He puts his own and many other lives at risk in this pursuit. At the film’s midpoint, Ritai and his men capture a group of poachers, including a kindly old man who tells the patrolmen that he used to be a shepherd, and was pushed into a life of criminality by hard times. The filmmaker doesn’t judge these characters, any more than he does the film’s would-be heroes. It’s clear that on a thematic level, Lu’s primary interest is human, rather than environmental.

Directed by Chuan Lu | Starring : Duobuji, Lei Chang, Liang Qi, Xueying Zhao, Zhanlin Ma | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Montréal Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival

电影往事 | Electric Shadows

Electric Shadows

It was a golden age of movies, like to watch movies want to be a movie actor female announcer Jiang Xuehua (Jiang Hongbo ornaments) unwed gave birth to a daughter like watching the same movie Lingling. This kind of elementary school understand the bad boy Mao Xiaobing Mao Xiaobing frame magic telescope, the telescope can see any want to see the movie, two people become good friends because of the movie, when Mao Xiaobing go gave the telescope the Ling-Ling Chiang. Later, the same is the movie lasting bonds, Jiang Xuehua and movie projectionist Pan Daren married soon gave birth to a son Bingbing, Lingling feeling by the threat to their own position in the home. Later, an accident, and Lingling climbed the roof watching movies brother accidentally fall killed the father of a slap in the face for Lingling runaways. Mao Xiaobing has long become Maotai Bing (Xia Yu ornaments), makes him an unexpected encounter Lingling almost deaf, mentally unstable, thus opening a dusty past.

Directed by Jiang Xiao | Starring : Yu Xia, Yihong Jiang, Zhengjia Wang, Shan Jiang, Haibin Li | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival