Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Director Wen Shipei / 2021 / China

Screening direct from Cannes, this psychological crime thriller pushes genre into daring territory and dazzles with a lush visual style that heralds the arrival of a major new Chinese filmmaking talent.

One hot summer night in southern China, a power outage blinds an entire city and three people’s lives become violently entangled. Xueming is involved in an accident; he flees the scene to avoid culpability, but his memory is left impaired. Mrs Liang’s husband disappears without a trace, and she is desperate to find out what has become of him. The police officer investigating her missing husband, Chen, soon finds the case is spiralling out of his control. Twenty years later, all of their fates remain shrouded in ambiguity.

Wen Shipei asserts his filmmaking chops with this stunning feature debut that both respects and revitalises genre while pushing its characters into dark, mesmerisingly mysterious territory. Featuring enthralling performances from Taiwanese greats Eddie Peng (The Great Wall) and Sylvia Chang (Long Day’s Journey into Night, MIFF 2019), and honouring the Elvis Presley song of its title by setting a gloriously melancholy tone, Are You Lonesome Tonight? is a gripping thrill ride into the nature of guilt, truth and redemption.

“Mesmeric … Shipei has such deft control of these visual elements that he’s able to navigate the morally treacherous paths the plot is driving down.” – One Room With a View

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