无人驾驶 | Driverless

Driverless

Jia chases love and wanders the streets to defy her father. Zhi Xiong lives a comfortable middle class life, but married life does not go well. Zhi Xiong has an affair with former girlfriend Xiao Yun. Wang Yao lost his daughter in a car accident and a women attempts to help him, but ends up getting hurt. Their interwoven stories all unravel through one accident at an intersection.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Ye Liu, Yuanyuan Gao, Jianbin Chen, Xiao Ran Li, Luodan Wang | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival

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落叶归根 | Getting Home

Getting Home

Zhao is an ageing worker who toils away in Shenzen in order to earn a living. When his friend and colleague Wang suddenly dies, Zhao decides to transport his body back to his native town. He purchases two tickets for the cross-country bus, and pretends that his silent travelling companion has drunk so much alcohol that he has fallen unconscious. Shortly afterwards, the bus is attacked by armed bandits. Zhao asks the bandits to kill him first, so that he can stay with his dead friend forever. Touched by this display of loyalty, the robbers decide to let the bus go. But instead of thanking Zhao, the other passengers throw him and his dead friend off the bus. Pretending that his friend is seriously ill and must be taken to hospital immediately, Zhao tries to flag down passing cars. After spending the night in a hotel, Zhao discovers that all his money has been stolen and begins to lose heart. But he refuses to be browbeaten. Whenever he needs money, he rearranges Wong so that he looks like a beggar. And whenever he is hungry, he joins a funeral party and bawls his eyes out so that he can enjoy the food served at the wake. During his odyssey across China Zhao is obliged to get along with all kinds of people. Just before he reaches his destination, the old man and his dead friend are caught in a torrential downpour, so that now Zhao finds himself engaged in a struggle against nature.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Benshan Zhao, Dandan Song, Degang Guo, Haiying Sun, Ma Wu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Vladivostok Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Edmonton Film Festival

向日葵 | Sunflower

Sunflower

The tumultuous relationship between a father returning home after years in a labor camp and the nine-year-old son who doesn’t quite know what to make of this new man in his life lies at the heart of director Zhang Yang’s heartfelt drama addressing the nature of change and the importance of family in Chinese culture. Chairman Mao has died and the Gang of Four have fallen, leaving former painter Gengnian to return home to his wife, Xiuqing, and the pair’s nine-year-old son Xiangyang. His hands permanently damaged by the ravages of hard labor, Gengnian cannot return to painting, though his young son has shown an abundance of artistic promise. Troubled by the sudden presence of a father he has never known and rebelling against the path laid before him, Xiangyang ignites a firecracker in his hand in hopes that it may derail his artistic career. In the years that follow, Xiangyang’s reputation as a talented artist grows while his relationship with his father remains forever troubled.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Joan Chen, Haiying Sun, Zhang Fan, Zifeng Liu, Jing Liang | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival

一个陌生女人的来信 | Letter from an Unknown Woman

Letter From an Unknown Woman

A man rides home through a war-ridden city. A letter waits for him at home. It’s a letter written by a woman before her death. In it, she tells him that she loves him, a lifelong passion that hasn’t lessened with time, but of which he knew nothing. She recounts their short but passionate young love – to him, simply one more brief romance among many; the difficulties she had in raising their child; and their final meeting, at which he didn’t recognize her. Now that she has lost her son (the only thread linking her to the man she loved), she no longer has the strength to live on… Shaken by the letter, the man searches his memory for the nameless woman.

Directed by Jinglei Xu | Starring : Jinglei Xu, Wen Jiang, Feihu Sun, Xiaoming Su, Jue Huang | Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival

开往春天的地铁 | Spring Subway

Spring Subway

Director Zhang Yibai makes an impressive debut with Spring Subway, a stylish urban romance about the silent suffering of a modern Chinese couple. Geng Le is Jianbin, a recently unemployed Beijing urbanite whose marriage to designer Xiaohui is hitting a difficult patch after nearly seven years of matrimony. Xiaohui finds friendship – and possibly more – with a customer, while Jianbin keeps up appearances by going to work every morning and riding the Beijing subway all day. On the subway, life continues for him, as he views various couples falling in and out of love. He even becomes emotionally involved with a schoolteacher, and slowly the wall of silence between the married couple becomes ever more impenetrable. Zhang Yibai finds rich territory for exploration among these emotionally-stilted modern Chinese, who might be able to make their lives work if only they could communicate. Shot with stylish, enthralling cinematic panache, Spring Subway is an offbeat and stunning work from an important new voice in Chinese cinema.

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Geng Le, Jinglei Xu, Yuanyuan Gao, Yang Zhang, Lan Ke | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

昨天 | Quitting

Quitting

Quitting concerns a troubled soul and how the massive changes wrought in contemporary urban China can batter a man. But the protagonist is not a hapless naif, fearing and defeated by change. Both the star of the film and the person on which it is based is Jia Hong-Sheng, one of China’s most visible young stars, whose performances in Suzhou River and Frozen practically define the bursting exuberance of young Chinese cinema. Both historical biography and documentary re-enactment, Quitting defies easy categorization, with the real protagonists of Jia’s hellish life journey playing themselves in almost every case.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Hongshen Jia, Fengsen Jia, Xiuling Chai, Tong Wang, Shun Xing | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

洗澡 | Shower

Shower

Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family’s bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da’s mentally-handicapped, exuberant brother, Er Ming, to get Da home). Da stays a couple days, observing his father being social director, marriage counselor, and dispute mediator for his customers and a boon companion to Er. Da is caught between worlds: the decaying district of his childhood and the booming south where he now lives with a wife who’s not met his family. When Da realizes his father’s health is failing and the district is slated for razing, he must take stock of family and future.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Xu Zhu, Cunxin Pu, Wu Jiang, Ding Li, Bing He | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Changchun Film Festival, Calgary Film Festival, Jakarta Film Festival