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China, 2010 (MIFF 2011, Our Space)

Director: Jia Zhangke


Jia Zhang-ke, China's most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker, turns his gaze toward the ultimate mega-city: Shanghai.

Commissioned for last year's Shanghai World Fair - but overcoming its roots as an 'official' film - this documentary from Jia Zhang-ke (Filmmaker-in-Focus, MIFF 2005; Still Life, MIFF 2007) collates the memories of 18 people - including filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, singer Rebecca Pan and Jia's muse Zhao Tao - to construct a melancholic history of Shanghai, from the brutalities of 1930s Japanese occupation through to its current place as one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Tied together by the elegant cinematography of Jia favourite Yu Lik Wai, I Wish I Knew is a restrained, thoughtful tour of a city evolving so fast that it risks forgetting everything it once was.

D/S Jia Zhangke P Wang Tianyun, Yu Likwai, Meg Jin, Lin Ye, Xiong Yong WS MK2 L Mandarin w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2010

See also...

Cry Me a River

China, Spain, France, 2008
Four friends reunited reminisce and mourn for lost youth. From director Jia Zhang-ke, whose feature films were profiled at MIFF in 2008. ... More »


USA, 2010
Iconic documentarian Frederick Wiseman (La Danse, MIFF 2010; Titicut Follies) returns with a fascinating look at the tight-knit world of a suburban boxing gym. ... Battered equipment is held together… More »

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