Skip to main content

SEVENTEEN YEARS

China / Italy, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: Zhang Yuan

Winner of the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival last year, Seventeen Years is a potent examination of a dysfunctional family and how human feelings can come back to life when on the verge of collapse.

Seventeen years after accidentally murdering her stepsister, Liu Li is allowed out on parole to visit her family. Escorted by a prison guard, after no one arrives at the prison to pick her up, Liu finds her old home demolished. Later that night, Liu eventually traces her mother and stepfather to their new home. What ensues is a painful homecoming.

Distinguished by the fact that this was the first production permitted to film within the walls of a Chinese prison, Seventeen Years' emotional believability resonates. Yuan's tenacity, in eliciting exceptional performances from his cast, his talent and emotional honesty are readily apparent in this harrowing examination of family ties. Superb cinema.

See also...

CRAZY ENGLISH

"What is the most concrete way to love your country?... To love your country is to study English well!... Crazy English! Crazy life! Crazy work! Crazy study! Crazy everyday! I want to be crazy! I ... More »

SONS

The Li household is a typical Beijing family, and a real Beijing family too. In this sensational docudrama, they re-enact their domestic history. The confronting results make Sylvania Waters look ... More »

LITTLE RED FLOWERS

“One of the best films from China within the past few years.” - The Guardian Seen through the eyes of a four year-old boy, Little Red Flowers vividly realises the struggles of fitting into a ... More »

SUZHOU

"A compelling story of love and obsession whose progress mirrors the sinuous flow of the Shanghai waterway that supplies its title, Suzhou (River). Combining elements from classical Hollywood ... More »

SHOWER

Opening with a wondrous fantasy concerning a high-tech automated shower modelled after a modern car-wash, Shower slams into a vision of a traditional Beijing bathhouse. A custom thousands of years ... More »

TELL ME SOMETHING

An ingenious and sadistic murderer has left a jigsaw puzzle as a clue for the police. The problem is that the pieces in the puzzle are human body parts, and not always from the same person! All of ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director