Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director


China / France, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Transience: The Asian Metropolis)

Director: Yu Li


A cross-generational story of ostracism, love and the legacy of the past, Dam Street chronicles the life of a woman whose teenage indiscretion continues to haunt her years after the event.

In a rural Chinese town, high-school girl Xiaoyun faces the indignation of her family and the local community when she becomes pregnant. Her sister helps deliver the baby and have it secretly adopted, though Xiaoyun is deceived into believing the baby died during its birth.

Ten years later, Xiaoyun is still dogged by her past. Despite her training to perform Sichuan opera, her pariah status has reduced her to singing in a crass song-and-dance troupe and being the object of crude taunts and sexual advances. A chance friendship with a young local boy sets in motion a chain of events as the secrets of the past unravel.

Complemented by a starkly photo-graphed Sichuan region and under the guiding directorial hand of Li Yu, Dam Street is both an apt reflection of contemporary China and a universal story of outcast teens.

Won the CICAE award at the 2005 Venice Film Festival.

D Li Yu P Fang Fi WS Bavaria Film GmbH L Mandarin w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2004/93mins

Li Yu was born in Shangdong Province, China, in 1973. Her films include Sisters (1999, doco) and Fish and Elephant (2001).

See also...


China, South Korea, France, Japan, 2002
Jia Zhang-ke's Unknown Pleasures depicts a trough of aimlessness. This third feature by Jia - in Official Competition at Cannes 2002 - again proves his ability to hold a light to China's alienated ru… More »


China, 2003
Yu Likwai, the celebrated cinematographer of Jia Zhang-ke (MIFF 05 filmmaker in focus), reveals his dystopian vision in the futuristic All Tomorrow's Parties, which screened in Un Certain Regard at C… More »

Love will tear us apart

Hong Kong, 1999
On the surface, [Love Will Tear Us Apart] is a chamber piece about four Chinese mainlanders now living in Hong Kong. But the film resists simple depictions of its characters and their circumstances. … More »


China, 2006
Sex, greed and a little bit of love make the world go round in Lost in Beijing, Li Yu's tragi-comic view of life in the new China. Foot masseuse Liu Pingguo and husband, An Kun, a high-rise window … More »


Taiwan, 2008
Tragedy tears a close-knit group of high-school friends apart, forcing them to forge individual paths. ... For the Taiwan chapter of the Winds of September trilogy, director Tom Shu-Yu Lin brings us … More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.