Yang Zhang – Kang rinpoche AKA Paths of the Soul (2015)

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Quote:
Docu-drama follows the journey of a group of Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lasa, the holy capital of Tibet. The journey covers 1,200 km on foot, in a continuous repetition of prostrating one’s self on the ground. Over 10 months, we see the simplicity of human relationships and the nature of family, suffering, and resolve. Continue reading

Yi’nan Diao – Bai ri yan huo AKA Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014)

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Northern China, 1999. The grisly discovery of several corpses is made in a small town. A bloody incident during the attempt to capture the alleged murderer leaves two police officers dead and another badly injured. The surviving officer Zhang Zili is suspended from duty; he takes a job as a security guard at a factory. Five years later, another series of mysterious murders occurs. Aided by a former colleague, Zhang decides to investigate under his own initiative. He discovers that all the victims were connected to Wu Zhizhen, a young woman who works at a dry cleaners. Pretending to be a customer, Zhang begins to observe her and finds himself falling in love with the reticent Wu Zhizhen. One cold winter’s day he makes a horrific discovery. His life now in danger, he realises it is not always possible to separate guilt from innocence. Diao Yinan’s use of the characters of the ex-police officer and the femme fatale is a direct reference to classic detective films. This director’s third feature is a noirish thriller in drained colours which, whilst playfully alluding to the genre, also invites us into the lives of very ordinary people. (-berlinale.de) Continue reading

Wen Hai – We the Workers (2017)

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         凶年之畔

Although labor activities could be very dangerous in China, some local consulting groups in the big city of Guangzhou continue to help migrant workers get their rights of work.
Icarus Films wrote:

China’s economic miracle has been built on cheap labor. And now, that labor is starting to fight back.

Filmed in the southeastern part of the country, We the Workers is a vérité documentary that closely follows people organizing workers and fighting for collective bargaining rights. They find themselves up against factory employees who don’t understand their rights and fear the consequences of organizing, police and government officials who see them as dangerous troublemakers, and foreign owners who ignore what lax regulations do exist. Continue reading

Xu Ruotao, J.P. Sniadecki & Huang Xiang – Yumen (2013)

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SYNOPSIS
This highly experimental twist on the ethnographic documentary visits the town of Yumen, in China’s northwest Gansu province, a once-thriving, oil-rich community in the 1980s that has been left depleted and derelict. Strikingly shot on film, Yumen tells the story of this ghost town through a series of wandering characters and inventive vignettes in which even the spirit of Bruce Springsteen is summoned to comment on a world in ruins. A collaboration between Chinese and American filmmakers, Yumen pushes the boundaries of the documentary aesthetic in depicting China’s past and present. Continue reading

Stephen Chow – Mei ren yu AKA The Mermaid (2016)

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Plot:
Xuan’s estate project involving reclamation of the sea threatens the livelihood of the mermaids who rely on the sea to survive. Shan is dispatched to stop Xuan and this leads them into falling for each other. Out of his love for Shan, Xuan plans to stop the reclamation. Unfortunately, Shan and the other mermaids are hunted by a hidden organisation and Xuan has to save Shan before it’s too late… Continue reading

Vivian Qu – Jia nian hua AKA Angels Wear White (2017)

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In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only witness. For fear of losing her job, she says nothing. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Wen, one of the victims, finds that her troubles have only just begun. Trapped in a world that offers them no safety, Mia and Wen will have to find their own way out. Continue reading