白鹿原 | White Deer Plain

White Deer Plain

Wang Quan’an’s epic takes place towards the end of imperial China in a period of dramatic political and social upheaval. The film is set in the eponymous White Deer Village in Shaanxi Province where the two most important families – Bai and Lu – and their sons have always lived together in peace. But the turmoil leads to a fierce struggle for land ownership. A young woman new to the village soon finds herself caught between the two camps. Director Wang Quan’an uses the story of these two families as a metaphor for the fate of the Chinese people as first Chinese war lords are overrun by Japanese invaders, then civil war follows hot on the heels of the Second World War and finally the victorious Maoists begin waving their red flags. White Deer Plain is an adaptation of an historical novel of the same name by Chen Zhongshi which was blacklisted for many years on account of its explicit sex scenes. As in his earlier works Tuya’s Marriage and Apart Together, Wang Quan’an’s new work focuses once again on the fortunes of a female protagonist. Using her beauty as a way of gaining influence and a means of survival, the heroine of his latest film nonetheless manages to remain true to herself and those she loves.

Directed by Quan’an Wang | Starring : Fengyi Zhang, Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Gang Wu, Wei Liu, Taisheng Chen | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Montréal Film Festival

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颐和园 | Summer Palace

Summer Palace

From the director of Purple Butterfly and Suzhou River comes Lou Ye’s sprawling epic Summer Palace . Yu Hong (Lei Hao) is a rebellious young woman from a small Chinese town transplanted to a politically charged Beijing University in the late 1980s. The country’s social turmoil is witnessed through its disaffected youth, whose newfound sexuality and activism culminate in violent suppression. Spanning nearly 20 years of modern Chinese history, Summer Palace projects the country’s struggle for definition through the eyes and heart of a young woman illequipped to handle it. While drifting between the arms of two men, her love fervent for both, Yu Hong’s existential crisis mirrors that of her nation. Will the chaos of society lead her to its same tragic fate?

Directed by Ye Lou | Starring : Hao Lei, Lin Cui, Yihong Duan, Xiaodong Guo, Xueyun Bai | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Miyazaki Film Festival

二弟 | Drifters

Drifters

Would-be immigrant Er Di is back in China, expelled from the United States for working illegally. While in the U.S. he fathered a child, and when his American-born son comes to China for a visit, Er Di is barred from seeing him. At the same time, Er Di becomes involved with a beautiful member of a touring Shanghai opera company. Caught between his past and his future, his son’s culture and his own, Er Di seeks bonds with both.

Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang | Starring : Yihong Duan, Yan Shu, Yiwei Zhao, Yang Tang, Juyong Liu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival