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China, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Wang Chao

Set in small-town China, an unemployed factory worker agrees to care for a prostitute's baby for a meager stipend. Slowly, something of a family emerges, but their shared path veers when the womans pimp, also the child's father, decides he wants to look after the child - driven by his life-threatening cancer and a desire for an heir.

With this feature debut, writer-filmmaker Wang Chao - Assistant Director on Chen Kaige's classic The Emperor and the Assassin - distinguishes himself as a leading light amongst the 'Sixth Generation' of Chinese filmmakers. Unlike the more exotic visions of his predecessors, Wang Chao's palate consists of down-to-earth characters and a realistic treatment of the material.

"Wang proves to be a filmmaker of considerable clarity. There's a majestic view of China implicit in these carefully composed images of makeshift brothels, ugly industrial buildings, dirty canals, outdoor food stands, and flophouse interiors." - Village Voice

Wang Chao (Nanjing, 1964) is a graduate of the Beijing Film Academy and the author of several short stories and a novella. He worked as assistant to director Chen Kaige from 1995 to 1998.

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