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"Life After Life channels Albert Camus' spirit from start to finish … a slow, heavily stylized yet incredibly poised deadpan drama." – Hollywood Reporter

In this exquisitely austere, dreamlike film – shot in misty browns and greys – a Chinese village falls to rack and ruin, and its inhabitants relocate to a nearby tenement block. Against such a desolate netherworld, a boy goes out collecting wood with his father. The boy runs off and, upon returning, speaks with the voice of his dead mother who has a request: that they move a tree in the yard of their now derelict house.

Life after Life may be the debut feature from Zhang Hanyi but it's as technically and thematically assured as the work of its esteemed producer, Jia Zhang-ke (Mountains May Depart, MIFF 2015; I Wish I Knew, MIFF 2010). Like much of the latter's work, it pivots on the implications of socio-economic change and social alienation, but does so with an existential quiescence that's both spiritually absurd and physically prosaic.

"A graceful ghost story that suggests death and progress go hand in hand." – Slant