Director: Huang Jianxin
Coming straight from the Cannes Film Festival's Directors Fortnight, Back To Back, Face To Face is a razor-sharp comedy from the Chinese cinema's resident satirist, Huang Jianxin.
The film is a hilarious contemporary comedy about bureaucracy liberated from the duty to serve the people. "Every man for himself, God damn those who don't". But Mr. Wang, a deputy at a cultural office consistently fails to heed this piece of remodelled ancient wisdom, and is thrice passed over for promotion. Just how is an honest man to survive in the New China?
Festival audiences have the rare opportunity to see Huang's two most recent films in this year's programme, both only recently completed. Whilst The Wooden Man's Bride is a radical departure for the director Back To Back, Face To Face is a return to the caustic style and humour of The Black Cannon Incident (MIFF 86) and Dislocation (MIFF 88). It comes at a time when tensions over political censorship of cinema in China have never been higher.
"...(the film is) a no nonsense story about life, complex human relationships and subtle psychology. Inside it there are many things: the changes in contemporary Chinese politics, culture and economy. Do they bring us joy? Confusion? Or is it history throwing overboard our habits of being with gleeful abandon?"
- Huang Jianxin