This film captures the depressing everyday life in a small town where everyone knows a murder will happen. Fifth-generation woman director Li Shaohong has freely adapted the García Márquez novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold to produce a truly shocking account of the consequences of poverty and backwardness in a North China village. In her version, the victim of the all-too-preventable killing is not a wealthy man but the village teacher, the only intellectual in a community of peasants. The build-up to the crime, explored in a web of flashbacks, turns out to hinge on the inner rage of a 36-year-old male virgin and on the puritanical stance of traditional village society; but what Li ultimately lays bare is the psyche of a people for whom existence means no more than survival.
Directed by Shaohong Li | Starring : Jun Zhao, Zhaohui Gong, Yajie Hu, Lu Hui, Lin Kong | Presented at Nantes Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival