The Breaking Ice Unclassified 18+
The French New Wave lives on in this luminous, snow-covered Gen Z love triangle from Wet Season (MIFF 2020) and Ilo Ilo (MIFF 2013) director Anthony Chen.
Nerdy, depressed Shanghai financier Haofeng is visiting wintry Yanji, on China’s North Korean border, for a friend’s wedding. When he loses his phone and misses his flight home, effervescent local tour guide Nana invites him to spend the long weekend with her … and her friend Xiao, who’s working in his family’s restaurant and nurturing a hopeless crush on Nana. Over several playful days and soju-fuelled nights, the trio begin to let their guards down. Can a shared adventure melt their chilled hearts, or will it simply bring the sadness they’ve been hiding to the fore?
Chen (whose recent film Drift also screens at this year’s MIFF) thrilled Cannes audiences with this valentine to the French nouvelle vague – especially François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim and Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande à part (MIFF 1965). Intimate and self-consciously cinematic, The Breaking Ice is so ethereally observed that its metaphors for youthful disaffection and the possibility of transformation never feel heavy-handed. Instead, the Singaporean director ensures his film’s emotional power comes from its evanescence: the freedom of realising nothing should be forever frozen.
“A daring experiment that pays off handsomely, an exploration of the entire spectrum of a generation’s hopes, dreams, and anxieties through a laser-focused milieu … Nothing short of beautiful.” – The Playlist
Director Anthony Chen will be in attendance for the screenings on Sunday 13 and Thursday 17 August.