天地英雄 | Warriors of Heaven and Earth

Warriors of Heaven and Earth

North of the vast 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese empire, the commercially and culturally priceless silk route is controlled by 36 friendly Buddhist kingdoms. Their are threatened by Turkic nomad tribes, the caravans also by brigand bands. Japanese scholar Lai Qimay not return home until the emperor is satisfied with his missions to retrieve refugees from the barren border lands. The last is competent imperial lieutenant Li, who was proscribed for refusing to execute Turkic prisoners. He now lives among fellow warriors for hire as caravan escorts. Lai Qi and Li reach a gentleman’s agreement to postpone their lethal duel till after the safe arrival of a caravan including a young Buddhist monk and his mysterious freight. When Turkic warlord Khan’s daughter’s hand seals an alliance with brigand sword master An, the only way out is trough the grimly dry Gobi desert.

Directed by Ping He | Starring : Wen Jiang, Kiichi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Wei Zhao, Bagen Hasi | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival

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民警故事 | On the Beat

On the Beat

Take crime out of police work, and what’s left is procedures. In the western sector of Beijing, we follow the tedium of police officers. A rabid dog is loose in Guoli’s beat: a gang of police officers hunts it down. Then, word comes from on high to pick up all the dogs in the sector: fear of rabies combines with the dogs’ being status symbols of the nouveau riche. Occasionally a criminal is picked up: someone selling porn, someone running a three-card-monte game. Cops smoke, go to meetings, and hold trainings. They patrol on bicycles and enforce edicts. Guoli works nights. He’s lazy at home, his wife wants him to do more. Is there any more to do?

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Li Zhanho, Liangui Wang, Zhiming Zhao, Li Jian, Shen Zhenou | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Entrevues Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Febio Film Festival