最爱 | Til Death Do Us Part

Love for Life

The peacefulness of a rural village has been disrupted by an outbreak of a disease, which the locals call ‘a fever’. Villagers learn very quickly that there is no cure for the disease and refuse to have anything to do with the infected. Lao Zhuzhu is a teacher at the now-abandoned village school and the father of Zhao Qiquan, the blood merchant responsible for causing the outbreak. He decides to make amendments to the villagers on behalf of his unrepentant son by inviting all the infected villagers, including his younger son, Zhao Deyi, to live with him at the village school, where they will look after one another. One day, Shang Qinqin, donning a red jacket, arrives at the school compound to join the small community…

Directed by Changwei Gu | Starring : Ziyi Zhang, Aaron Kwok, Wenli Jiang, Zeru Tao, Cunxin Pu | Presented at Rome Film Festival

我们天上见 | We’ll Meet in Heaven

We'll Meet in Heaven

At age 40, mainland Chinese actress Jiang Wenli makes a smooth segue behind the camera with autobiographical coming-of-ager “Lan.” Cultural Revolution-set tale of a young girl, whose dream of becoming a champion gymnast is scuppered by the realities of everyday life and family background, is handled with grace and feeling, and is notably light on the political cliches besetting stories of the era. The audience-award winner at this year’s Pusan fest, this unabashedly old-school movie (in the best sense) is ripe for festival and Euro TV exposure, with some limited theatrical potential as well.

Directed by Wenli Jiang | Starring : Xu Zhu, Jun Yao, Ye Liu, Zhu Yinuo, Sichun Ma | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival

秘岸 | Lost, Indulgence

Lost Indulgence

After a fast turn on the night road, cabbie Wu Tao drives right into the Yangtze River and apparently drowns, though his body is nowhere to be found. His passenger, club hostess Su Dan, is left with a severely fractured leg. Unable to pay mounting hospital bills but determined to take responsibility, Wu Tao’s wife Li decides to take in Su Dan, and care for her during recuperation. Though Li’s angsty teenaged son Xiao Chuan is initially less than thrilled with the loud and demanding guest, some odd semblance of normalcy settles while relationships change; Li befriends a younger man, and Xiao Chuan falls for the older Su Dan. But as the days pass in that hot and cramped flat, the ambiguous connections and unspoken tensions among the increasingly infatuated Xiao Chuan and the mutually weary Su Dan and Li begin to drive lives in unexpected directions, and hearts to unanswered questions. Spring Subway and Curiosity Kills the Cat director Zhang Yibai helms the intriguingly titled and even more intriguingly told Mainland Chinese drama Lost, Indulgence. Set amid the rapid industrialization and hellfire heat of Chongqing, the film stars Eric Tsang, Eason Chan, Karen Mok, and Karen Mok’s legs, as well as Mainland actress Jiang Wenli and newcomer Tan Jianci. Though framed by a plot puzzle that pushes and pulls from all directions, Lost, Indulgence maintains a solid, subtle, and engaging narrative core revolving around the emergent relationships and identities of each character. Jiang Wenli and Karen Mok, in particular, delivering outstanding performances as two very different women who may share more than they say. Indeed, Lost, Indulgence is the rare film in which what is not revealed is as, and perhaps more, important than what is.

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Karen Mok, Wenli Jiang, Eric Tsang, Eason Chan, Bowen Duan | Presented at Tribeca Film Festival

立春 | And the Spring Comes

And the Spring Comes

Setting in a northern county of China in late 80s and early 90s of last century, this movie is about a few ordinary people who dreamed to become artists, who are stubborn enough to fight for their dreams, but eventually give in to the mundane life. This is a somehow identical theme appeared in the director’s previous award-winning film “Peacock”. Nevertheless, this is a totally different story. Well written and directed, this is one of the best movies of China of the year. What makes this movie magnificent is that although it’s a sad story, the director was able to add in some delicate and somehow absurd humor, pushing you to the edge of breaking your heart.

Directed by Changwei Gu | Starring : Wenli Jiang, Guangjie Li, Guohua Wu, Xuan Dong, Gang Jiao | Presented at Rome Film Festival

杏花三月天 | The Story of Xinghua

The Story of Xinghua

This Chinese melodrama presents an allegory tinged with feminism with it’s portrayal of life and free enterprise in a modern, liberalized Chinese mountain village. Wanglai is the shady town grocer who steals stones from the Great Wall to sell as souvenirs. His neighbor Fulin is nothing like him. Fulin is sensitive, educated and spiritual. He makes his living planting saplings. Wanglai’s store-bought bride Xinghua cannot bear him children; he therefore, frequently batters her then cheats upon her. In the gentle Fulin Xinghua finds a soul-mate. Fulin too, is drawn to her and shyly tells her so. The two passionately consummate their love during a rainstorm. Xinghua gets pregnant and wants to divorce her cruel husband. Fulin becomes uneasy. Though he is more liberal than Wanglai, he is still bound by tradition. When Wanglai discovers he has been cuckolded he ruins Fulin’s plantation and beats Fulin and then Xinghua mercilessly. He wants her child regardless of the father, but she destroys him by pointing out that he, not she, is the infertile one.

Directed by Li Yin | Starring : Wenli Jiang, Guoli Zhang, Shaojun Tian, Haiyan Zhang, Xingli Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival

霸王别姬 | Farewell My Concubine

Farewell my Concubine

Farewell My Concubine is a 1993 Chinese film directed by Chen Kaige, is one of the central works of the Fifth Generation movement that brought Chinese film directors to world attention. Similar to other Fifth Generation films like To Live and The Blue Kite, Farewell My Concubine explores the effect of China’s political turmoil during the mid-20th century on the lives of individuals, families, and groups, in this case, two stars in a Peking opera troupe and the woman who comes between them. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Lilian Lee. Lilian Lee is also one of the film’s screenplay writers.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong, You Ge, Wenli Jiang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, New York Film Festival