After producing Golden Bear-winner Black Coal, Thin Ice (MIFF 2014) and helming acclaimed thriller Trap Street (MIFF 2014), Vivian Qu continues to interrogate crime, corruption and control in modern-day China in her arresting sophomore effort.
Winning Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival, Angels Wear White might be shot in luminous shades thanks to its scenic seaside setting, but its searing, slow-building account of violence and victimisation tussles with far-from-heavenly subject matter.
On the tourist-friendly Hainan Island, two young women face their own difficult dilemmas after a shocking altercation in a resort hotel. For 12-year-old victim Wen (impressive newcomer Zhou Meijun), her assault by a middle-aged man sparks a police investigation and inflames her already fraught home life. For teenage maid Mia (an equally exceptional Wen Qi), the only witness to the incident, it forces an impossible choice between protecting her tentative livelihood and helping a troubled girl.
"It appends a rare, brilliant female perspective to the recent emergence of a new noir cycle from Chinese independent auteurs." – Film Comment