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Films From China

Renowned visual artist Ou Ning's Meishi Street is both art and activism, calling attention to lives being destroyed in the name of progress. ... Imagine being thrown out of your family home for little or no compensation. Now imagine your business - and only means of support - is knocked down at the ... Read more
Winner of the Grand Prize at last year's Locarno Film Festival, Mr Zhao relates the romantic entangle­ments of the gentleman of the title. A low-key charmer, Zhao is magnetically attracted to women of all kinds, without any thought for consequences. The film opens with Zhao, a Shanghai doctor ... Read more
Lin Yingzi, a little girl from the south of China, marvels about the wonders of the big city: Its busy streets, the dilapidated walls of the ancient buildings, the ringing bells on a camel's neck. She is thinking of all the people who had been part of her life for some time, but then quietly left ... Read more
Narrow Street is the story of two youths, Xia, an easy going, good-humoured mechanic, and Yu, who is rather shy and delicate. ... They first met in the late sixties, during the chaotic days of the “Cultural Revolution” in China. ... The chaos and desperation around them strengthens their ... Read more
Peitahuang (The Great Northern Waste) is an area in North-East China. Formerly it was a snowy wilderness haunted by wild animals and birds. Its few inhabitants used lo say of it: "Wild and desolate is the Great Northern Waste; wolves and foxes, deer and rabbits abound there, but never a girl can be ... Read more
Sang-Hu, who made the beautiful Chinese opera film Liang Sha &ndash: Po and Chu Ying &ndash: Tai (shown at the 1956 Melbourne Film Festival) in his latest production, New Year Sacrifice, gives us a drama set around 1911; the unhappy life of a Chinese woman sold in marriage. ... Based on a short ... Read more
A chilling drama set in China's inhospitable industrial western provinces. ... After making a humorous debut with Uniform (MIFF 04), filmmaker Diao Yinan performs an about-face with this strikingly composed, minimalist drama that dives into inhospitable depths, leaving a chill that lingers long ... Read more
“I don't think I've ever seen more tension-filled sequences of this sort.” - critic and historian David Bordwell ... Affectionately called ‘Old Fish' by the locals, a cop approaching retirement is the only person in town deemed qualified to dispose of recently discovered landmines left behind ... Read more
Mongkok, one of Hong Kong's most densely populated areas, is a seething centre of illicit business and criminal connections. Into these claustrophobic streets steps Lai Fu (Daniel Wu), a farm boy from mainland China, hired as a killer in the gang war that's rocking Mongkok. He meets prostitute Dan ... Read more
With Operation Free Lunch, director Lixin Fan (a guest of the festival this year) looks at the impact of social media as a force for good in China. ... Lixin's debut feature documentary Last Train Home won the Joris Ivens Award at the 2009 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, as ... Read more
A young student couple make their way towards the city of Wuhan. There they hope to buy seeds that will allow them to cultivate and sell Lingzhi mushrooms - a rare and expensive species of mushroom. The new China, with its promise of vast riches, beckons. ... The pair has little money and even less ... Read more
Winner of the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival, [Peacock] is the auspicious directorial debut of Gu Changwei. One of China's most accomplished cinematographers, Gu has worked with such filmmakers as Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou, so it comes as no surprise that [Peacock] is, at the least ... Read more
“Even Franz Kafka would find it hard to credit the systemic injustice denounced in Petition.” - Screen International ... In his quest to give voice to the unheard masses of China, filmmaker Zhao Liang spent 12 years gathering footage, much of it secretly filmed, to tell a story of the plight of ... Read more
“Bring down corruption, give me my human rights!” That's the cry heard early in Zhao Liang's Petition, a searing indictment of China's politically controlled legal system. ... Zhao Liang spent more than a decade involved with the community of desperate citizens who journey to Beijing from all ... Read more
“Even Franz Kafka would find it hard to credit the systemic injustice denounced in Petition.” - Screen International ... Giving voice to the unheard masses of China, filmmaker Zhao Liang spent 12 years gathering footage, much of it secretly filmed, to tell a story of the plight of thousands ... Read more
Festival guest Jia Zhang-ke arrived onto the international cinema scene with Pickpocket (1997), influenced most evidently by the work of Robert Bresson. Made well outside the state system, the film was awarded prizes at several international film festivals, including at Berlin and Pusan. Xiao Wu ... Read more
Platform (MIFF 01) is Jia Zhang-ke's ambitious follow-up to his highly successful debut, Pickpocket. Set over 1979 to 1989, it explores the tensions in expectations and world-views that emerge as China shifts from its isolationist Cultural Revolution years to its pop-cultural revolution of the ... Read more
... ... Who knows what happens behind closed doors? The postman, if he opens your mail. And this guy doesn't knock twice before meddling in the lives he uncovers. Adultery, prostitution and drugs are just the appetisers in a banquet of temptations laid out before Xiao Dou. A slow-witted young man ... Read more
Jia Hong Sheng was an emerging film star in the early 90s, nicknamed 'the thug idol' for playing gangsters and heroes in 'B' movies, when he branched out and starred in a stage version of Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1992. However, things soon changed, as his fragile psychological state, combined ... Read more
“A simple, soulful film that stylistically recalls Italian neo-realist films such as The Bicycle Thief.” - Screen DailyWriter Cai Shangjun (Sunflower, MIFF 06) makes his directorial debut with The Red Awn, an honest portrayal of teen rebellion, coming-of-age and the rebuilding of a father-son ... Read more
Former cincmatographer Zhang Yimou makes an impressive directional debut with this lush rural epic based on renowned Shangdong author Mo Yan's short story. Set during the Sino-Japanese war in the barren wilderness of Northern China, it's the simple story of how an offscreen narrator's grandparents ... Read more
In a fictional world transformed by a deadly airborne virus, a young girl enjoys one last day with the boy she likes. Picking up two awards at the International Critics' Week at Cannes, [Respire] portrays a hauntingly possible future, inspired by the almost-forgotten SARS. --- D/S/WS Wi Ding Ho P ... Read more
The film is a convincing study of social conditions in Beijing during the turbulence of the early 1930s Xinagzi, a young camel-herd from the west, comes to Beijing ... to seek his fortune pulling a rickshaw, only to find himself trapped in a hopeless economic situation. ... His employer's daughter ... Read more
Running on Karma (Dai Chek Lo) Hong Kong/ChinaWinner of three Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Actor for superstar Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, MIFF 2003), Running on Karma is the second film from prolific director Johnnie To (P.T.U., MIFF 2003) in this year's Festival; the ... Read more
Based on a novelette entitled SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, the film is a woman's recollection of her youthful years in an exotic Thai community in a border region of South China during the cultural revolution period. Her contact with an alien, primitive ... culture characterised by its simple, sensual ... Read more
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