When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the investigation, their stories unravel, and a bizarre connection is gradually discovered between them. The Equation of Love and Death weaves together three different love stories, examining the different emotional struggles people go through in dealing with pain and lost, and how letting go might just be the hardest thing to do.
Directed by Baoping Cao | Starring : Xun Zhou, Chao Deng, Hanyu Zhang, Baoqiang Wang, Yanhui Wang | Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival
The humdrum existence of a Beijing factory worker and his family is disrupted when their beloved dog is confiscated by the police for being unlicensed. The worker has but 24 hours to raise the sizable sum required to pay the license fee.
Directed by Xuechang Lu | Starring : You Ge, Jiali Ding, Bin Li, Xiaogang Feng, Qinqin Li | Presented at N/A
Ah Ying is a provincial prostitute from mainland China. With a short-term visa, she hopes to start a new life in Hong Kong. She hooks up with other immigrants: a woman who can no longer work as a dance instructor since she lost a leg, a porn enthusiast and an introvert addicted to hookers. Entrapped in dingy brothels, cramped lifts and karaoke, these new generation nomads are united in a common struggle. But the battle between homeland attachment and their new lives will tear them apart.
Directed by Nelson Yu Lik-wai | Starring : Tony Leung Ka Fai, Liping Lü, Ning Wang, Rolf Chow | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival
The Qin emperor Shih Huang Ti is on his way to conquering the 6 Kingdoms of feudal China and uniting the Middle Kingdom. He recalls childhood friend Gao Qian Li who is the undisputed maestro of the Chinese lute. The emperor asks him to compose a symphony in celebration of his victory in the bloody war to unify China. A man who refuses to bow to the force of tyranny, Gao Qian Li is unwilling to undertake the composition. Frustrated and angered by Gao’s unrelenting disobedience, yet unable and unwilling to kill him for reasons of his obvious talents and their childhood friendship, the tyrant appears to have met his match. Matters take a twisted turn as Gao falls prey to the seduction of the emperor’s crippled daughter, Princess Ping Yang violating her virginity and enraging the Emperor even further. Both Gao and the Princess use each other as pawns, to vent their anger at the cruel Emperor. At her behest, Gao finally composes the song Tribute to Qin. After the premiere performance of the song, Gao suicidally jumps into the river with his flaming lute, drowning his music forever. This is a movie of epic proportions, exploring the twisted relationship between the ruthlessly tyrannical Qin Emperor and his childhood playmate. The sets are impressively stunning as are the performances by both male leads, both emerging from the tutelage of Chinese New Wave meister, Zhang Yi Mou.
Directed by Xiaowen Zhou | Starring : You Ge, Wen Jiang, Qing Xu, Yuan Yuan, Qingxiang Wang | Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, AFI Film Festival