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China, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Horizons: New Chinese Cinema)

Director: Yang Chao

A young student couple make their way towards the city of Wuhan. There they hope to buy seeds that will allow them to cultivate and sell Lingzhi mushrooms - a rare and expensive species of mushroom. The new China, with its promise of vast riches, beckons. The pair has little money and even less commonsense. Arriving in the city, they learn that they've been seriously misled, and after some haggling manage to acquire Lingzhi spores from a nearby biotechnology lab. Only after they have returned home do they discover that what they have been sold is fake. They are undeterred and once again set off for Wuhan, where they will demand a refund. Their travels soon become more important than the destination, as they realise that their quest for quick money has become a search for something else, and it's pulling them apart. A new, modern China surely exists, yet it is not what they encounter; their China seems almost uninhabited. Yang Chao's [Passages] received a Special Mention at Cannes, 2004.
D/S Yang Chao P Yang Haijun WS The Coproduction Office L Chinese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/112mins Yang Chao was born in Henan Province, China, in 1974. [Passages] (MIFF 05) is his first feature film.

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